The amount of money earned from extraction of natural resources on federal lands that is disbursed to various legislated funds. Our fund overview dataset is from the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, which is part of the Department of the Interior. In addition, we have more detailed datasets on two of the funds: Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
Download fiscal year data:
The documentation that follows is for the funds overview dataset. LWCF documentation is included in its download file, and we’re working on collecting documentation for the NHPA dataset.
We also have notes on this data from the web development team as they built the interactions on this site.
This dataset includes natural resource disbursements for U.S. federal lands and offshore areas, and Indian lands. It does not include privately-owned lands, or U.S. state lands. The dataset is tracked and managed by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue. It contains disbursement information to funds for fiscal years 2012-2015. Disbursements of revenue due to extractive activities on U.S. federal lands occur monthly; this dataset is a sum of those disbursements by fiscal year.
The disbursement dataset is updated in December after the end of the federal government fiscal year.
Laws treat revenues from offshore natural resources and onshore natural resources differently. There are set percentages and amounts from each that go certain places every year.
U.S. Treasury. Funds disbursed to the Treasury go to the General Fund, which is the federal government’s basic operating fund. The General Fund pays for roughly two-thirds of all federal expenditures, including the US military, national parks, and schools.
States. Funds disbursed to states fall under the jurisdiction of each state, and each state determines how the funds will be used.
Reclamation. Established by Congress in 1902 to pay for Bureau of Reclamation projects, this fund supports the establishment of critical infrastructure projects like dams and power plants.
American Indian Tribes. ONRR disburses 100% of revenue collected from resource extraction on American Indian lands back to the Indian tribes and individual Indian landowners.
Other. Certain onshore funds are directed back to the federal agencies that administer these lands (e.g., BLM, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Forest Service) to help cover the agencies’ operational costs. The Ultra-Deepwater Research Program and the Mescal Settlement Agreement also receive $50 million each.
U.S. Treasury. The majority of offshore revenue is disbursed to the Treasury, which enters it into the General Fund, the federal government’s basic operating fund. The General Fund pays for roughly two-thirds of all federal expenditures, including the US military, national parks, and schools.
Land and Water Conservation Fund. This fund provides matching grants to states and local governments to buy and develop public outdoor recreation areas across the 50 states.
Historic Preservation Fund. This fund helps preserve US historical and archaeological sites and cultural heritage through grants to state and tribal historic preservation offices.
States. States receive federal Outer Continental Shelf revenue in two ways:
- 27% of revenue from leases in the 8(g) Zone (the first three nautical miles of the Outer Continental Shelf) are shared with states; and
- 37.5% of revenue from certain leases in the Gulf of Mexico are shared with Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Other. Certain offshore funds are directed back to the federal agencies that administer these lands (e.g., BOEM and BSEE) to help cover the agencies’ operational costs.