Economic impact of public lands increases by $400 Million

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has released the Department’s Economic Report for Fiscal Year 2017 that shows for the first time in several years, economic growth and jobs supported by federal lands both increased. According to the report, under President Donald J. Trump and Secretary Zinke’s first year in office, the economic output of Interior’s federal lands and resources increased by $400 million to $292 billion and the number of jobs supported increased by 230,000 to 1.8 million jobs. Gains are due to increased energy production and revenues, regulatory reform, changes to land uses and access, infrastructure projects, and other factors.

“Anyone who grew up in the West can tell you that federal lands are working lands and, if managed properly, they support jobs and economic activity for communities in industries like recreation, energy, agriculture, and mining,” said Secretary Zinke. “The same is true for coastal areas like the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. I grew up in Montana where most of the men in my community worked in timber, mining, or agriculture. Rural communities relied on federal lands for jobs and resources. But for many years, much of the land and water was locked up and not available for use. Not anymore, not under President Trump. This report shows that thanks to smart regulatory reforms and increased access, federal lands and waters are once again increasing economic output and creating jobs.”

In FY 2017, Interior increased federal energy disbursements by nearly $1 billion. Interior-managed lands and waters produced 869 million barrels of crude oil, 4.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 347 million tons of coal. Oil, gas and coal produced from Interior lands and waters supported an estimated $134 billion in economic output and an estimated 676,000 jobs.

In FY 2017, Interior reduced the semi-annual regulatory agenda by more than 50 percent and initiated 21 deregulatory actions, resulting in a savings to the economy of $3.8 billion over time.

National parks, refuges, and other public lands managed by Interior hosted an estimated 483 million recreational visits in FY 2017—up from 473 million in FY 2016. These visits supported an estimated $52 billion in economic output and an estimated 418,000 jobs nationwide.

Additionally, Secretary Zinke increased deferred maintenance dollars and approved $256 million in funding to rebuild critical national park infrastructure supporting both construction jobs and higher visitation. The National Park Service completed over $650 million in maintenance and repair work in FY 2017.

States with the largest contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economic output, and employment supported include the following:

  • Wyoming – $12.72 billion in contribution to GDP, $20.78 in economic output, and 99,898 in jobs
  • Texas – $11.27 billion in contribution to GDP, $19.57 in economic output, and 112,003 in jobs
  • New Mexico – $10.12 billion in contribution to GDP, $15.47 in economic output, and 86,264 in jobs
  • California – $5.73 billion in contribution to GDP, $9.96 billion in economic output, and 67,985 in jobs
  • Colorado – $5.6 billion in contribution to GDP, $9.48 billion in economic output, and 57,068 in jobs

The report is paired with a web-based data visualization tool that lets the user customize the contribution analysis by bureau, activity or State. You can access the tool and download the full economic report, including a discussion of the analysis and methodology applied at https://doi.sciencebase.gov/doidv/.

FY 2018 Prospects High
The economic impact of Interior’s public lands under President Trump and Secretary Zinke is also expected to show increases in FY 2018 due to expanded access to federal lands, regulatory reform, increased energy production, and more projects being approved for development.

FY 2018 regulatory reform actions have resulted in a savings of roughly $2.5 billion in net present value.

FY 2018 energy disbursements totaled $8.93 billion, which is an increase of nearly $2 billion since FY 2017 and an increase of $3 billion since President Obama’s last year in office. Production and revenues increased and the Department saw record-breaking sales. The Bureau of Land Management’s third-quarter oil and gas lease sale in New Mexico broke all previous records by grossing nearly $1 billion in bonus bids for 142 parcels. Thanks to Federal energy leases, the State of New Mexico has a nearly $2 billion budget surplus.

Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase in 60,000 mining and logging jobs in FY 2018 under the Trump Administration.

SOURCE: Department of the Interior press release

Ronnie Wendt

Ronnie Wendt

Ronnie Wendt has been a writer/editor for more than 25 years, working in law enforcement, aviation, supply chain and the RV industry. She's not a stranger to RVs, however. She grew up camping, and still camps as many weekends as she can every year. She is the owner of In Good Company Communications and can be reached at ingoodcompanycommunications@gmail.com.

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