Hundreds of millions of people each year visit outdoor recreation areas and facilities managed by the government but “it is unclear how much federal funding is spent, through various programs, on recreation,” GAO has said.
“Most of the 7 federal agencies we reviewed identified some (but not all) of their spending related to outdoor recreation. It is difficult to identify spending related solely to outdoor recreation because programs often serve multiple purposes. For example, the Army Corps of Engineers manages navigation locks that support both commercial and recreational use,” it said.
Of those agencies, some have data on actual expenses while others have data on amounts budgeted—but not necessarily allotted. In the former category, the Corps of Engineers and the Forest Service averaged $292 million and $225 million, respectively, in recent years.
In the latter category, Bureau of Land Management averaged $77 million, Fish and Wild Life Service $1.3 billion and the National Park Service $1.5 billion. The Bureau of Reclamation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration did not identify budget lines related to outdoor recreation.