Congressional Western Caucus Blasts Decision To Move BLM Headquarters Back To D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the Congressional Western Caucus are blasting the Biden administration’s decision to relocate the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Headquarters from Grand Junction, CO, to Washington, D.C. They say the move disadvantages communities on or surrounded by BLM land throughout the West.

“Putting management of lands in the West back into the hands of D.C. bureaucrats will only result in less effective management, loss of economic activity, and even greater mistrust of the federal government. It’s inconceivable that the Administration would ignore the wishes of not only Colorado’s local communities but also those of rural communities throughout the West who are impacted by the Bureau of Land Management’s decision-making,” said Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse. “The Headquarters’ move to Grand Junction garnered strong bipartisan support in the House, the Senate, the state of Colorado, and the entire West. This ridiculous notion of having dual headquarters is a display of the worst kind of D.C. theatrics that will only lend to further uncertainty about BLM’s land management decisions. The Biden Administration’s betrayal of rural America will not be forgotten. The question now is for Colorado Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper: Will you still vote to confirm Tracy-Stone Manning if she does not commit to reversing this terrible decision for the people of Colorado?”

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.

Earlier this month, the House Committee on Natural Resources unanimously approved Vice Chair Lauren Boebert’s (CO-03) amendment to the reconciliation package that would keep the BLM in Colorado.

In April, Chairman Newhouse joined Vice Chair Boebert in Grand Junction for a roundtable with local leaders and business owners to discuss the positive impacts the Headquarters’ move to Colorado has had on rural communities throughout the West, from more effective land management to job creation.