Mulvaney Confirms BLM Move is Really About Killing BLM

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has been trying hard to sell the BLM move to Colorado as anything but a decimation of the agency.

The July announcement that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would move its headquarters to Grand Junction while most of the jobs are relocating from Washington D.C. to Lakewood, Colo., was met with initial enthusiasm before a quick dose of reality dampened expectations significantly. Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) made as big a deal out of the BLM decision as he could, shifting his talking points from the move as a boom to the Grand Junction economy (which is actually only gaining 27 jobs) to more of a philosophical change of basing public lands leadership in the part of the country where most public lands are located.

Skeptics have worried that the BLM move had a more sinister motivation: To ultimately snuff out the agency altogether. As we wrote on July 17:

The BLM’s big move is probably good news for Colorado, which will benefit from the economic impact of the relocation of 85 federal jobs. The effect on Grand Junction’s economy will be significantly less than locals had hoped, however, and it’s not at all clear whether this move is a good thing for the BLM and public lands in general…

Conservation groups have always been skeptical about a proposed BLM move, worrying that the real motivation of such a change is to reduce the agency’s influence with top decision-makers in Washington D.C. 

Mick Mulvaney

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney

Jennifer Rokola, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, called the move “a cynical attempt to drain the Interior Department of expertise and career leadership.” Rokala’s warning was backed up by news that a similar move of key sections of the Department of Agriculture to a new office in Kansas City was indeed part of a broader plan to gut the USDA in general. As Ben Guarino reports for the Washington Post, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is making it clear that moving federal agencies is mostly about killing them off:

In his keynote speech at the Republican Party’s black-tie-optional Silver Elephant Gala in South Carolina on Friday, Mulvaney seemed to celebrate the attrition at the agencies. “You’ve heard about ‘drain the swamp.’ What you probably haven’t heard is what we are actually doing. I don’t know if you saw the news the other day, but the USDA just tried to move, or did move, two offices out of Washington, D.C.,” he said.

As the crowd clapped, Mulvaney continued: “Yes, you can applaud that one. That’s what we’ve been talking about doing. Guess what happened? Guess what happened? More than half the people quit.

“It’s nearly impossible to fire a federal worker,” Mulvaney said. “I know that because a lot of them work for me, and I’ve tried . . . By simply saying to people, ‘You know what, we’re going to take you outside the bubble, outside the Beltway, outside this liberal haven of Washington, D.C., and move you out in the real part of the country,’ and they quit — what a wonderful way to sort of streamline government, and do what we haven’t been able to do for a long time.” [Pols emphasis]

Trump officials are planning additional shake-ups and exoduses from Washington. By 2020, more than 80 percent of the headquarters staff at the Bureau of Land Management will be moved west of the Rocky Mountains, the Interior Department told lawmakers in July. The Trump administration also wants to break up the Office of Personnel Management and split 5,500 workers among three other departments.

We made people quit their jobs! Please clap!

This was always the plan for the White House, apparently, so the only question that remains is whether or not Gardner was in on the scam from the beginning.

Well, that’s not really a question.

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10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Ditto for NIFA, ERS.  

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    “In on the scam”, or merely a close by and convenient dupe . . .

     (what with his nose so firmly planted up some hole on Ttump’s back nine)??? . . . 

    “Today is a historic day for our nation’s public lands, western states, and the people of Colorado,” said Senator Gardner. “Relocating the Bureau of Land Management to the Western Slope of Colorado will bring the bureau’s decision makers closer to the people they serve and the public lands they manage. The problem with Washington is too many policy makers are far removed from the people they are there to serve. Ninety-nine percent of the land the BLM manages is West of the Mississippi River, and so should be the BLM headquarters. This is a victory for local communities, advocates for public lands, and proponents for a more responsible and accountable federal government.”

    Senator Cory Gardner—in his effort to reshape the way Washington bureaucracy interacts with Americans its rules and regulations impact—was the chief architect of the plan to move the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters West. Gardner’s steadfast commitment to his proposal, along with public legislative action and behind-the-scenes work with key Administration officials, is the reason the BLM’s new home will be in Colorado.

    https://www.gardner.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/gardner-announces-blm-will-relocate-headquarters-to-grand-junction

    . . . Just imagine what Cory could do to secure eliminate Amazon???

  3. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    It might interest some to know that, now that our shiny new, world class, tax-payer funded shooting and education center has opened, we see a local elementary/middle school starting a program called "Outdoor Wilderness Living"…or some such producing the acronym OWL.

    The photo accompanying the story is of a group of teen boys posing around an outdoor table with their hunting rifles. Is there a connection? I will try to find out.

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Is this it, Duke? “ Cameo shooting and education complex”. It looks as though it’s funded by Colorado Parks. Doesn’t look as though it’s getting schools money. I’d wonder about what they’re doing with spent lead casings and shells as a hazard for the environment. 

    I’m actually in favor of kids being taught proper gun safety and handling. Mine were. If we ever have sane gun policy in this country, people will be required to pass a certified course like this, as well as being required to show safe storage and insurance for any firearms stored in the home or car. 

    That’s on top of the universal background check and not having any “red flags” on their behavior. All part of “licensing guns like cars”. 

    There are also legit programs like owl school.org and earthworkprograms.com, that really do offer an outdoors survival experience. I was lucky enough to have a similar experience in high school when East offered “Senior Seminar”. I soloed for a week in the Mexican desert. Great experience. No shooting involved.

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