Federal land activities contribute #19 billion in Colorado

David Bernhardt

Energy development, recreation and other activities on public lands in Colorado managed by the U.S. Department of Interior accounted for a total of nearly $19 billion in economic contributions during the 2019 fiscal year.

Those activities also supported 62,425 jobs, according to the latest economic report from the federal agency.

Nationwide, activities resulted in $336 billion in economic activity and supported 1.9 million jobs.

“Especially this year, public lands have been a critical place of refuge for the American people and will continue to support the economic vitality of our country,” said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Colorado ranked fourth among states where activities on public lands accounted for the largest contributions to economic output, value added and employment. Economic output estimates the total value of goods and services supported by Department of Interior activities. Value added represents the difference between output and the costs of inputs. Employment numbers estimate the total number of jobs supported by Department of Interior managed activities.

Oil, natural gas, coal and other minerals extracted from public lands managed by the Department of Interior accounted for $8.1 billion in economic output, $5.5 billion in value added, and 35,200 jobs.

Recreation — including visits to national parks, monuments and wildlife refuges — accounted for $2 billion in economic output, $1.2 billion in value added, and 17,400 jobs.

The Department of Interior payroll in Colorado accounted for $727 million in economic output, $425 million in value added, and 4,790 jobs.

Grants and payments accounted for $420 million in economic output, $279 million in value added, and 3,500 jobs.

Livestock grazing and timber production accounted for $125 million in economic output, $8.9 million in value added, and 1,540 jobs.

Other states with the largest contributions from activities on lands managed by the Department of Interior included top-ranked New Mexico, followed by Wyoming and California.

Nationwide, energy development on public lands accounted for $156 billion in economic output and 665,000 jobs. A total of about $12 billion in revenues were collected from oil, natural gas and coal extracted from federal lands.

An estimated 501 million recreational visits to public lands during the 2019 fiscal year accounted for $60.6 billion in economic output and 469,000 jobs.