[House Report 109-583]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-583


                   VALLE VIDAL PROTECTION ACT OF 2005


 July 20, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed


  Mr. Pombo, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3817]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 3817) to withdraw the Valle Vidal Unit of the Carson 
National Forest in New Mexico from location, entry, and patent 
under the mining laws, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 3817 is to withdraw the Valle Vidal 
Unit of Carson National Forest in New Mexico from location, 
entry, and patent under the mining laws, and for other 


    H.R. 3817 would withdraw roughly 101,000 acres of the 
Carson National Forest, known as the Valle Vidal Unit, from 
mineral exploration or development. This includes patent under 
mining claims, and mineral leases for geothermal or mining 
materials. Any valid existing rights would continue to be 
recognized, but if those rights were relinquished or purchased, 
that area would also be withdrawn from the mining laws. This 
area is known for its horseback riding and hiking trails, 
livestock grazing, and wildlife habitat.
    Roughly 40,000 acres are in question for possible mineral 
development. Currently, the Forest Service is revising its 
management plan for the Carson National Forest. This process 
is, by statute, open to the public for comment and 
collaboration. The Forest Service will likely address the 
concern of mineral development within the Valle Vidal Unit in 
the revised forest plan.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 3817 was introduced on September 15, 2005, by 
Congressman Tom Udall (D-NM). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health and the Subcommittee 
on Energy and Mineral Resources. On October 27, 2005, the 
Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health held a hearing on the 
bill. On June 21, 2006, the Full Resources Committee met to 
consider the bill. The two subcommittees were discharged from 
further consideration of the bill by unanimous consent. No 
amendments were offered and the bill was ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.


    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.


    Article IV, section 3, clause 2 of the Constitution of the 
United States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.


    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that Rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 

H.R. 3817--Valle Vidal Protection Act of 2005

    H.R. 3817 would withdraw some federal land in the Carson 
National Forest in New Mexico from certain programs to develop 
natural resources. According to the Forest Service, the agency 
is currently evaluating whether to implement such programs, 
particularly to develop oil and gas resources, in areas covered 
by the proposed withdrawal. To the extent that the affected 
land is expected to generate income from such activities, H.R. 
3817 would reduce offsetting receipts (a credit against direct 
spending). Because a portion of oil and natural gas receipts is 
paid to states, any foregone receipts under H.R. 3817 would be 
partially offset by a corresponding decrease in direct spending 
for those payments.
    CBO cannot predict whether the agency will decide, under 
current law, to allow oil and gas leasing to occur on the 
affected land. Based on information from the Forest Service 
about the length of time involved in making such a decision, we 
expect that, if the agency decides to implement an oil and gas 
leasing program, most of the proceeds from such leases would be 
collected after 2016. Therefore, we estimate that any net 
change in direct spending under H.R. 3817 would be 
insignificant in any of the next 10 years. CBO has no basis, 
however, for estimating the magnitude of the bill's potential 
budgetary effects in later years. Enacting H.R. 3817 would not 
affect revenues.
    H.R. 3817 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no significant costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments over the next 10 years. To the extent that this 
bill would result in reduced federal mineral receipts after 
that period, it also would lower payments to states.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.


    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing