Interior Department Supports $12.3 Billion in Economic Activity and 66,000 Jobs in Colorado

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today released the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Economic Report for Fiscal Year 2018. The report highlights Interior activities covering conventional and renewable energy, recreation, non-fuel minerals, irrigation, and conservation that resulted in $315 billion in economic output and supported 1.8 million jobs during the year – up from $254 billion in economic output and 1.6 million jobs in 2016.

“As the stewards of our public lands and waters, we are committed to being a good neighbor and serving alongside local communities,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “The Department of the Interior is entrusted with managing a wide variety of activities on public lands that support nearly two million jobs and generate $315 billion in economic impact, benefitting local and state economies. Today’s report highlights the significant contribution our public lands make in our economy, which continues to grow under President Trump’s leadership.”

In Fiscal Year 2018, activities in Colorado on Interior-managed lands supported 17.4 thousand jobs and $1.2 billion in value-added from recreational activities; 38.8 thousand jobs and $6.1 billion in value-added from energy and mineral development; and 2,620 jobs and $221 million in value-added from major grants and payments.

Interior-managed lands and waters produced 923 million barrels of crude oil, 4.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 322 million tons of coal in FY 2018. Oil, gas and coal produced from Interior-managed lands and waters supported an estimated $151 billion in economic output and an estimated 643,000 jobs.

National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Monuments and other public lands managed by Interior hosted an estimated 486 million recreational visits in FY 2018—up from 473 million in FY 2016. These visits supported an estimated $58 billion in economic output and an estimated 452,000 jobs nationwide.

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

  • New Mexico
    • $16 billion contribution to GDP
    • $21 billion in economic output
    • 80,000 jobs
  • Wyoming
    • $14.71 billion contribution to GDP
    • $21 billion in economic output
    • 88,000 jobs
  • Texas
    • $13.68 billion contribution to GDP
    • $24 billion in economic output
    • 113,000 jobs.
  • Colorado
    • $8 billion contribution to GDP
    • $12.3 billion in economic output
    • 66,000 jobs.
  • California
    • $7 billion contribution to GDP
    • $11.7 billion in economic output
    • 75,000 jobs
  • Louisiana
    • $5.4 billion contribution to GDP
    • $10.8 billion in economic output
    • 53,000 jobs

The report is paired with a web-based data visualization tool that allows the user to customize the contribution analysis by bureau, activity or state. You can access the tool and download the full economic report, analysis and methodology applied at

FY 2019 Prospects are High

The economic impact of Interior-managed public lands under President Trump is also expected to show increases in FY 2019 due to expanded recreational access, regulatory reforms, increased energy production, and more projects being approved for development.

Regulatory reforms have also netted a considerable impact, uplifting the economy without sacrificing critical environmental protections. In FY 2018 alone, regulatory reform actions resulted in a savings of roughly $2.5 billion in net present value.

The policies being implemented under the Trump administration continue to drive economic growth on public lands and across the economy. The unemployment rate is at the lowest level in 50 years; more than 6.4 million jobs have been added since January of 2017; and the U.S. is now the number one producer of oil and gas in the world.


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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