Implementing Good Neighbor Forestry Act would not impact US federal budget, CBO estimates; legislation would authorize Dept. of Interior, US Forest Service, to enter agreements with state foresters for forest, watershed restoration, protection

WASHINGTON , July 16, 2013 () – The Congressional Budget Office issued the following document:

S. 327 would authorize the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service to enter into cooperative agreements or contracts with state foresters in western states to provide forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration and protection services on lands administered by those agencies. Based on information provided by the affected agencies, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would have no impact on the federal budget. Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

Under current law, the affected agencies have the authority to enter into contracts with private companies to carry out various activities to conserve federal lands. S. 327 would allow those agencies to contract with state foresters to accomplish similar work in areas where state and federal lands are located in close proximity. Because the bill provides an alternative approach to completing projects that would otherwise be carried out by the affected agencies or private contractors, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would have no impact on the federal budget.

Any proceeds from timber sales conducted under an agreement authorized by the bill would be treated as receipts to the federal government as under current law; therefore, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would not affect direct spending.

S. 327 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.

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