By DENNIS SEID / Daily Journal

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 Mississippi on Interior-managed lands supported 3,120 jobs and $130 million in value-added from recreational activities; 12,700 jobs and $642 million in value-added from energy and mineral development; and 692 jobs and $43.3 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.