Newhouse and Boebert: Keep the Bureau of Land Management in the West

Colorado roundtable focuses on positive impacts of BLM Headquarters location

Grand Junction, CO, April 6, 2021 | Elizabeth Daniels (202-280-8720)

Today, Chairman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Vice Chair Lauren Boebert (R-CO) were joined by local stakeholders for a roundtable to discuss the benefits of the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters being located in Grand Junction, Colorado.

“When it comes to land management, reading something on paper cannot compare to actually getting out on the land, kicking the dirt, and seeing it firsthand,” said Chairman Newhouse. “The BLM headquarters being in Grand Junction doesn’t only benefit Mesa County or the state of Colorado, but it benefits the entire West. By bringing our decision-makers closer to the lands they manage, we can ensure that the voices of local communities are being heard. We heard directly from Coloradans today about the positive impacts this move has had, and it is clear that keeping this Headquarters in the West is the right decision. I commend Representative Boebert for her steadfast leadership and bipartisan advocacy on this important issue for rural communities – both in her district and across the West.”  

“The Bureau of Land Management’s successful move West would not have happened without the efforts of so many people at the roundtable,” said Vice Chair Boebert. “Ninety-nine percent of the 245 million acres managed by BLM are in the West, so it only makes sense that nearly all the agency’s employees should also be located there. Step outside and not far from here, you can go hiking, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, ride an ATV, ski, see wildlife, and other important activities taking place on federal lands. Land management decisions are best made by the people who live, work, and raise their families on or near those lands and that are invested in local communities.”

In January, Vice Chair Boebert participated in a roundtable with U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Governor Jared Polis. The bipartisan group urged the Biden Administration to ensure the BLM Headquarters remained in Colorado due in part to the positive economic impact the decision has had on the region, including job creation and saving taxpayer dollars.

Background:

On August 10, 2020, the Department of the Interior (DOI) formally established the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters (BLM) in Grand Junction, Colorado. Prior to this relocation, the agency’s headquarters was located thousands of miles away from the land and people most directly impacted by the Bureau’s management decisions. Of the 245 million acres managed by BLM, 99% of the land is located in the West.

The agency estimates it will save more than $2 million in Fiscal Year 2021 in lease costs and $1.9 million in salary savings annually based on locality pay. DOI has also reported that it saved $1.9 million on travel costs in Fiscal Year 2020.

Western states received 328 new good-paying jobs when the BLM Headquarters moved West including: Alaska (4), Arizona (39), California (20), Colorado (85), Idaho (18), Montana/Dakotas (3), Nevada (49), New Mexico (39), Utah (44), Washington/Oregon (5), and Wyoming (15).

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