Monday, June 20, 2016

Feds: Energy
 biggest player,
 rec growing

Recreation is a growing contributor to the economic benefit created by activities managed by the Interior Department, but extraction of oil, gas and coal continues to be the big player in that regard, even with falling commodity prices. That’s the case both nationally and in Colorado, according to an Interior report released Friday. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell this week particularly highlighted the role lands such as national parks play economically as President Obama headed west late in the week for visits to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and Yosemite National Park in California. Altogether, the report estimates that activities managed by Interior supported about $300 billion in economic output and 1.8 million jobs nationally during the 2015 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30 of last year. Recreation, including visits to national parks, wildlife refuges, Bureau of Land Management lands and other lands managed by the department, supported about $45 billion in economic output and nearly 400,000 jobs, the report says. That’s up from about $42 billion in fiscal year 2014, as recreation visits in fiscal year 2015 totaled 443 million, an increase of 20 million. Nationally, national parks alone attracted a record 307 million visits last year, 4 million more than the previous year, Jewell told reporters this week in a teleconference. “And this year, 2016, is shaping up to be even higher” for park visits, she said...more

This report, and the timing of its release, helps justify Qbama's vacation in national parks.  It also is aimed at the Appropriation committees in Congress.  Unfortunately, it also provides the rationale for individual Congressmen to add more units to the system.  Its been working well with the local chamber of commerce types.  If only our whole nation were a National Park, just think how prosperous we'd be.

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