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Press Release



Salazar Releases New Report Showing Interior Department Programs and Activities Support Jobs for More Than 1.4 Million Americans



02/23/2010


Contact: Julie Rodriguez (202) 208-6416


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today released a first-of-its-kind report showing that Department of the Interior programs and activities support more than 1.4 million American jobs and more than $370 billion in economic activity across the country.

The report, Economic Impact of the Department of the Interior’s Programs and Activities, is the first-ever analysis of the job creation and economic growth benefits related to a wide range of departmental activities, from tourism at national parks to hydroelectric projects in the West to oil and gas development on federal lands and the outer continental shelf.

“Traditionally, we have measured the value of our programs and activities by the service we provide the American people, whether it is conserving a wetland, containing a catastrophic wildfire or welcoming the public to a national park or national wildlife refuge,” Salazar said. “This report shows that the Department of the Interior also creates and supports private sector jobs and economic growth in all 50 states. Furthermore, it underscores that investing in areas such as conservation and energy development can play an important role in getting our economy moving again.”

The report’s findings include:

  • Energy development and mining on lands managed by the department support 726,000 jobs. The most jobs are in Wyoming, New Mexico, Louisiana and Texas.
  • National parks, national wildlife refuges, and other sites managed by the Interior Department attracted more than 414 million visitors in 2008, supporting 316,000 jobs in tourism and recreation in all 50 states and generating more than $25 billion in economic activity.
  • Rural states especially benefit from Interior’s programs and activities. In states that are more than 50 percent rural, for example, visitors to Interior sites support 200,000 jobs and $15.3 billion in economic activity.
  • Conservation activities generate large numbers of jobs. For example, every $1 million taxpayers invest in ecosystem restoration projects creates 30 mostly private-sector jobs. Every $1 million invested in recreation projects produces 22 mostly private-sector jobs

Looking to the future, the report estimated that some of the renewable energy projects that are planned in the West will support as many as 60,000 jobs in the Clean Energy Economy while reducing dangerous pollution. Using wind, solar and geothermal power from public lands, the Department plans to supply clean, affordable energy for the future, decreasing America’s dependence on foreign oil. With innovation and renewed attention to the benefits of responsible stewardship the Department will help to repower the US economy, create summer jobs for thousands of young people, and create a lasting foundation for prosperity in America.

The 63-page report is available online at Economic Impact Report.