Interior Department Supported $254 Billion in Economic Activity and Nearly 1.7 million Jobs in FY 2016

9/29/2017

Date: September 29, 2017
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today released the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Economic Report for Fiscal Year 2016. The report highlights that Interior activities supporting conventional and renewable energy, recreation, conservation, water energy supported $254 billion in economic output and nearly 1.7 million jobs during the year.

National parks, refuges, monuments and other public lands managed by Interior hosted an estimated 473 million recreational visits in 2016—up from 443 million in 2015—these visits supported $50 billion in economic output and about 426,000 jobs nationwide.

The Department’s diverse portfolio includes the management of some 500 million acres of public lands, and another 1.7 billion acres offshore on the Outer Continental Shelf. In addition, the Department is the Nation’s largest supplier and manager of water in 17 Western states. It oversees cutting-edge scientific research in the areas of geology, hydrology and biology and serves as Trustee for 567 federally-recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Fossil Fuel Energy: In FY 2016, Interior-managed lands and waters produced 768 million barrels of crude oil, 4.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 310 million tons of coal, supporting $68.3 billion in value added, $117.7 billion in economic output, and 582,000 jobs.
  • Renewable Energy: In FY 2016, Interior lands and facilities produced 36.7 million MWh of hydropower (enough to power 3.4 million homes). Renewable energy projects on Interior lands – solar (6,859MW), wind (3,568 MW), and geothermal energy (1,543 MW) -- supported $3.8 billion in economic output and 17,000 jobs in FY 2016.
  • Non-fuel Minerals: In FY 2016, Interior lands produced a wide variety of non-fuel minerals, supporting value added of $6.1 billion, economic output of $11.4 billion, and 39,000 jobs.
  • Recreation: In FY 2016, Interior’s lands hosted an estimated 473 million visits, supporting $28.1 billion in value added, $50.0 billion in economic output, and 426,000 jobs.
  • Water: Interior stores and delivers water for irrigation, municipal and industrial (M&I), and other uses supporting $28.9 billion in value added $49.7 billion in economic output, and 399,000 jobs in FY 2016. Interior also delivers water to support in-stream flows, wildlife refuges, and other uses that not typically reflected in economic contribution estimates.
  • Forage and Grazing: In FY 2016, Interior lands provided access to 8.6 million animal unit months (AUMs) of forage, supporting $2.4 billion in economic output and 41,000 jobs.
  • Timber: In FY 2016, about 673,000 mbf of sawtimber was harvested on BLM and tribal lands, supporting $0.48 billion in value added, $1.4 billion in economic output, and 6,200 jobs.
  • Grants/Payments: Activities related to grant and payment programs administered by Interior supported $6.4 billion in value added, $9.1 billion in economic contributions, and 84,000 jobs in FY 2016.
  • Conservation: Conservation is a component of recreation, restoration, water management, and even some mineral development activities. The value of these activities is not typically reflected in economic contribution estimates.
  • Scientific Data: Interior’s data collection and research promote economic growth and innovation and play a role in promoting American competitiveness in a global marketplace. The value of these activities is not typically reflected in economic contribution estimates.

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, with a discussion of the analysis and methodology applied on the internet at https://doi.sciencebase.gov/doidv/.