Originally published on July 17, 2019 11:18 am
The Bureau of Land Management is officially relocating its headquarters to the Mountain West. That’s according to an announcement by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner.
The Republican senator says the BLM’s new headquarters will be Grand Junction in Western Colorado, and he is excited.
Gardner and other proponents of the relocation have long said that it will help agency decision makers be closer to the actual land they manage.
"This means that people will be able to have greater say, greater impact on public lands that affect their community," Gardner said, in a video statement released Monday afternoon.
Some conservationists were quick to criticize the move, saying the administration should be focused on critical infrastructure needs at parks and public lands.
The BLM employs about 10,000 workers, but most of those workers are already stationed here in the West — like range conservationists, field biologists and firefighters who work on the ground. The headquarters move would likely affect about 4% of BLM employees who currently work in Washington D.C., many of whom are agency leaders and policy makers.
In a statement Monday Colorado’s Democratic Governor Jared Polis said, “It’s hard to think of a better place to house the department responsible for overseeing our beloved public lands.”
The BLM has not confirmed the move. The agency did not immediately respond a request for comment.
Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.
Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC KUNR in Nevada and KUNC in Colorado.
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