The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says activities including oil and gas development on federal lands managed by the agency contributed $105 billion in economic output in fiscal 2018.
The BLM, which manages over 245 million acres, released a report Friday detailing the agency’s economic contributions. Total economic output on BLM-managed lands is $105 billion, up from $95.6 billion in fiscal 2017.
“America’s public lands are a key driver of the nation’s economy, particularly in states across the West. The jobs and communities these lands support are vital to millions of Americans, and the Bureau of Land Management is proud to make sure economic activities continue in a sustainable, environmentally-sound manner,” acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley said.
Energy production was the largest contributor to the agency's increased economic output.
Oil and gas development on BLM lands accounted for $71.5 billion in economic output last year. Oil production increased from 174 million barrels in 2017 to 214.1 million in 2018, the bureau said.
Coal production on BLM lands accounted for $10.1 billion in economic output in 2018, with an 8 percent decrease in production from the previous year.
Non-energy mineral production made up $12.7 billion in economic output, with a mineral production value of almost $89 million in 2018.
Recreation on BLM lands contributed $6.8 billion in fiscal 2018, with 68 million visits for activities like fishing, horseback riding and mountain biking. Recreation accounted for $6.7 billion and 67.4 million visits in fiscal 2017.
Economic activity on all BLM-managed lands helped support 471,000 jobs, with 300,000 of those jobs being related to oil and gas development.
Activities on U.S. Department of Interior lands – which include BLM-managed lands – contributed $315 billion in economic output and supported 1.8 million jobs nationally last year.
In Arizona, recreation on DOI lands contributed $1.8 billion to the state’s economy. Energy and mineral development on DOI lands managed in Nevada contributed nearly $3.8 billion. In Colorado, energy and mineral development contributed $6.1 billion in GDP.