Report: Public lands activity adds $360 billion to economy

Sally Jewell
Sally Jewell

Recreation, energy development and other activities on federal lands administered by  the Department of the Interior contributed nearly $360 billion to the national economy and created more than 2 million jobs, according to a report for the 2014 fiscal year.

“This report demonstrates once again that the Department of Interior is a powerful economic engine,” said Sally Jewell, secretary of the interior. “Our parks and public lands support outdoor recreation, promote renewable energy and allow us to harness other domestic energy resources, create jobs and promote economic development in communities across all 50 states.”

According to the latest economic report from the Interior Department, parks, monuments, wildlife refuges and other public lands managed under the department hosted a total of 423 million recreational visits in the 2014 fiscal year, up nearly 4 percent from the previous fiscal year. Recreational visits supported $42 billion in economic output and 375,000 jobs nationwide.

Energy development produced 706 million barrels of crude oil, 3.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 421 million tons of coal. That development supported $230 billion in output and more than 1 million jobs.

The Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs stores and delivers water for agricultural, industrial and municipal use, in turn supporting $51 billion in output and 379,000 jobs.

Hard rock mining produced a variety of minerals, including 2.5 million troy ounces of gold, in turn supporting $12 billion in output and more than 42,000 jobs.

Grants and payments for a variety of projects and activities on public lands supported $10 billion in output and 99,000 jobs.

Hydropower and other renewable energy facilities on public lands supported $3 billion in output and about 13,000 jobs.

Forage and livestock grazing on public lands supported $1.4 billion in output  and 17,000 jobs.

The harvest of 500 million board feet of timber on Bureau of Land Management and tribal lands supported $800 million in output and about 3,800 jobs.