This data is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Annual State Survey of Government Finances” which gives the state governments’ general expenditures for each function the government performs. Natural resources expenditures comprises three expenditure groups: state fish and game, federal and state forestry, and other natural resources (Methodology for Summary Tabulations).
Natural resources expenditures refers to the total amount spent by the state on natural resources given in millions.
The natural resources expenditures percentage is calculated as the amount spent on natural resources divided by total government expenditures. Natural resources expenditures per capita is calculated as the amount spent on natural resources divided by the state population in the given year.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “Expenditures comprise all amounts of money paid out by a government during its fiscal year, with some exceptions. Statistics on state government finance include measurement of expenditures by character (e.g., current operations, capital outlay, intergovernmental expenditures, and so on) and function (e.g., education, health, public welfare, natural resources, and so on). Expenditure does not include a government's payment of its debt, or purchases of investment securities, loans it has granted, agency or private trust transactions, nor correcting transactions” (State Government Finances Methodology).
According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census Government Finance and Employment Classification Manual (Ch. 5, pp. 50-54), the state fish and game expenditure group includes conservation, development, regulation, and enforcement of fish and game resources and laws. Federal and state forestry expenditures are for the conservation, development, management, and protection of forests and forest resources. The other natural resources expenditures group consists of expenditures related to water resources, mineral resources, agriculture, and the regulation of industries which affect natural resources.