Report: BLM HQ Will Move West

As Erin Prater writes for the Colorado Springs Gazette:

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is prepared to move ahead on moving the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to the West, according to reports.

Grand Junction is expected to be a prime possibility for the new national headquarters, partly because of the work of Colorado’s two U.S. senators, Republican Cory Gardner of Yuma and Michael Bennet of Denver…

…Rep. Scott Tipton’s office said Thursday that the department will conduct an analysis to help choose a location in the next six to eight months, Interior Department senior adviser Susan Combs told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, according to the release Thursday. “Ninety-nine percent of the land that the BLM manages is located in the West, and the decisions made by the Bureau have daily impacts on those who live there, so it only makes sense to move the headquarters to a Western state. This would ensure that decisions would be made by those who understand the land best, resulting in more effective land management programs and policies.

Moving the headquarters of the BLM to the American West has been a long-running project that has the support of Colorado’s entire Congressional delegation, as well as the backing of local officials and Gov. John Hickenlooper. Colorado isn’t guaranteed to be the new home of the BLM, but Grand Junction is at least among the frontrunners.

It’s too soon to tell if this pending move will have a significant effect on BLM policies in the West or is more of a publicity stunt, though a new HQ would almost certainly create some new jobs in Colorado.

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12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. taterheaptom says:

    They should locate it at the new Ammon Bundy Federal Center 

  2. gertie97 says:

    If it moves West, a big if, Denver or Salt Lake City are more likely candidates. We know Tipton has no clout.

    • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

      The most natural location would be in Lakewood with the bulk of the federal installation, but Gardner and Bennet have both been pushing for Grand Junction, as has Tipton.  Others, like Perlmutter and Polis have been more general-Colorado, IIRC.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Nothing says Republican like making things more expensive to operate.  Look at the new embassy in Israel.  This looks like one of those sucker punches where they move someplace with lots of Republican construction companies and then after the government has been ripped off on the construction costs, the Repubs will maintain that it is too expensive to run an organization that remote so they will have to shut it down.  Precursor to drowning the baby is paying for the talcum powder at the highest prices.

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        They are coming to Grand Junction, I predict.

        They want to be near their new world-class, taxpayer supported, shooting and education center. And removed from big cities full of liberals. Lots of reasons for GJ and Mesa County to prevail. This will have little to do with anything but personal politics and industry connections.

         

         

        • gertie97 says:

          I dunno, Duke. Who's going to break it to Interior that broadband in Mesa County sucks? I'm sure appropriate connections will be made at whatever site for a BLM hq is selected, but home connections for BLM employees will be the same as ours. Iffy and expensive.

          • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

            And how much of the BLM budget goes to travel?  Ever tried to book a ticket in or out of Grand Junction?

            If it comes West, which isn't a bad idea, I think there ought to be consideration of having a built-in population of people trained in agriculture and ecology — majors that are not prominent at Colorado Mesa University

            • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

              Just curious if you are on their advisory board JID? I will bet they didn't seek your advice. You guys keep applying rationality and logical thinking to the process….

              Think about it….😝

               

            • gertie97 says:

              Only people who work for government (at any level) or well-heeled businesses fly out of Grand Junction. The rest of us drive to Denver or Salt Lake and fly from there, unless it's a dire family emergency.

               

  3. MADCO says:

    Farmington
    Pueblo
    Soccoro
    La Junta
    Fallon
    Twin Falls

    unless they need an airport – then Denver/Boise otr LSV

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