BLM Jobs May Be Coming West. But Which Ones?

Originally published on September 19, 2019 5:35 am

Along with its new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado, the Bureau of Land Management is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to our region. But, there is some confusion on the specifics.

According to a July letter from the Department of Interior to Congress, the BLM plans to mvoe 323 headquarters jobs out West. The confusion is around what jobs will be relocated. For example, what about those people who work closely with Congress as part of their daily jobs?

Acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley testifed before the House Natural Resources Committee last week.

"It's my understanding that we are not sending Congressional liaison employees to the West. We're going to have our Congressional liaison people here," he said.

But, internal documents obtained by The Hill show some of those jobs will be moving to Reno, Nev. That prompted questions from lawmakers at the hearing.

"Is there a national legislature that's forming in Reno that none of us here know about?" asked Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva of Arizona.

The Nevada State Office in Reno declined an interview request, and a spokesperson said its office has no additional information.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Copyright 2019 KUNR Public Radio. To see more, visit KUNR Public Radio.