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Bureau of Land Management headquarters will move back to D.C.

The decision was announced this afternoon.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, speaks during a news conference after Haaland's visit to talk...
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, speaks during a news conference after Haaland's visit to talk about federal solutions to ease the effects of the drought at the offices of Denver Water Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Denver. Haaland will make stops in two cities on Colorado's Western Slope as part of her trip to assess the effects of the drought on the Centennial State. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)(David Zalubowski | AP)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 2:53 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The U.S. Department of the Interior, under the Biden administration, has announced the decision to move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters back to Washington D.C. The department will continue to keep an office open in Grand Junction, Colo. to serve as the agency’s western headquarters.

This decision comes after the Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland’s recent visit to Grand Junction in July to speak with officials and to discuss the future of the BLM headquarters.

During the announcement today, the secretary outlined steps for department plans to rebuild and strengthen the BLM. The changes will be done in coordination with Congress.

According to a press release from the DOI, Secretary Haaland’s decision to move the BLM national headquarters to Washington, D.C. is to ensure the bureau has a national presence at the capitol. This move is to allow the BLM to work closely with Congress, federal agencies, and stakeholders that visit Washington, D.C.

“There’s no doubt that the BLM should have a leadership presence in Washington, D.C. – like all the other land management agencies – to ensure that it has access to the policy-, budget-, and decision-making levers to best carry out its mission,” said Secretary Haaland. “In addition, the BLM’s robust presence in Colorado and across the West will continue to grow.”

The BLM will continue to have an office in Colo. to “...reinforce western perspectives in decision-making and have an important role to play in the bureau’s clean energy, outdoor recreation, conservation, and scientific missions, among other important work as a leadership center in the West.”

Various elected officials weighed in on the decision to move the bureau.

“While I am disappointed that the national headquarters will be in Washington, I believe establishing and growing a permanent BLM Western Headquarters in Grand Junction should be a very positive development,” said U.S. State Senator, Michael Bennet. “I welcome the prospect of the BLM Western Headquarters exercising leadership with respect to managing our public lands, outdoor recreation, conservation, renewable energy, and engagement with stakeholders and Tribes.”

U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper provided a statement, “A Western BLM Headquarters in Colorado will help ensure we have a fully functioning agency that understands the West. We’ll keep working to secure jobs in Grand Junction, including senior leadership positions. To succeed, the Western HQ must be a strong, permanent presence that engages the community and adds a Western perspective and value to the BLM’s mission.”

“Today’s announcement that the BLM National Headquarters in Grand Junction will be growing is great news for Mesa County, our thriving outdoor economy, our treasured public lands, and everyone who loves them. Our vast great public lands enhance our Colorado way of life, support jobs, and are a refuge for wildlife and Coloradans,” said Governor Jared Polis. “The BLM has committed to growing this headquarters, and we look forward to many more BLM staff joining those already in Grand Junction which is a natural home for the BLM. There is great value in being physically close to the lands under management and where decisions have impacts on the lives of Coloradans and our environment. I am glad President Biden, Secretary Haaland, and the administration are focused on the conservation and economic opportunities the Colorado growing presence of the BLM represents.”

“While I’m disappointed with today’s decision and the details are light, this could still ultimately be a win for Grand Junction and the West as a western headquarters will remain in Grand Junction, more jobs will move to Grand Junction, and all the jobs that moved out West won’t be moved back to D.C.,” said Representative Lauren Boebert.

For more information about the BLM, please visit blm.gov/.

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