In response to new information received regarding the proposal to relocate the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters to Washington, D.C., Vice Chair Lauren Boebert (CO-03) led 21 Members of Congress and Congressional Western Caucus Members in sending a letter to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in strong opposition. The flawed reprogramming proposal sheds further light on the plan to relocate senior staff further away from the lands they are responsible for managing and cause significant harm to local communities, displacing BLM employees, negatively impacting local communities in the region, and resulting in less effective management of our public lands. Click here to read the letter.
“The Trump Administration’s decision to move the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters and hundreds of jobs to the West and closer to the lands they manage was widely praised and enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress as well at the state and local levels,” said Vice Chair Lauren Boebert (CO-03). “Only the Biden regime would ask Appropriators to bless an expensive move back to the Swamp two years from now without telling them how much it costs. Stealing 25 good-paying jobs from the Grand Junction community goes back on the Department’s promise to the bipartisan Colorado delegation to ‘grow and expand’ the Bureau’s presence in Grand Junction. It’s time Secretary Haaland stopped playing politics with people’s lives and stopped screwing over rural communities.”
“Since day one, the Biden Administration has been adamant on implementing a one-size-fits-all approach that puts land management of the West back into the hands of D.C. bureaucrats,” said Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04). “The Bureau of Land Management oversees one out of every ten acres in the United States, and when we visited Grand Junction, we heard firsthand about how the BLM Headquarters has benefited local communities, economies, and – importantly – their ability to manage public lands throughout the West. This new information confirms what I and so many of my Western Caucus colleagues feared when the Biden Administration originally announced this move. It is clear they continue to be out of touch with rural America, and we urge them to reconsider this disastrous proposal.”
“The Biden Administration has repeatedly shown how out of touch they are with Americans across the country, and the decision to move DOI headquarters back to D.C. is no exception,” said Vice Chair Bruce Westerman (AR-04). “Just as the employees were getting settled in Grand Junction and the agency was hitting its stride with local communities and stakeholders, DOI abruptly reversed course and is relocating central authority to the capital. The men and women who serve at DOI can’t effectively do their jobs when the federal government uses them as a political football, not to mention the fact that we still have no idea how much this relocation is going to cost the American taxpayer. I strongly oppose the move, and I’m grateful for Congresswoman Boebert’s strong work on this issue.”
“The Department of Interior’s decision to move the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters back to Washington, D.C. is disappointing and poorly thought out,” said Rep. Russ Fulcher (ID-01). “99% of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management are located West of the Mississippi River and 97% of Bureau of Land Management employees already live in the Western United States.”
“The 2020 move of the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters from D.C. out West, where most of the land they manage is located, was common sense,” said Vice Chair Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). “Moving the headquarters, and all of the employees, back to D.C. will cost taxpayers millions, harm the employees already in these roles, and create an irreparable divide between the program and the public lands it is meant to serve. I urge Secretary Haaland to reconsider and keep the Headquarters in Colorado.”
“Over 99 percent of the land managed by the Bureau of Land Management is in the West,” said Rep. Matt Rosendale (MT-AL). “The Trump Administration’s decision to move the BLM’s headquarters out West was a commonsense measure to make sure policy makers are close to the land which they are tasked with managing and in touch with the concerns of the Americans most affected by their policies. I am deeply disappointed by the Biden Administration’s politically motivated decision to reverse this and concentrate bureaucratic power back in Washington, D.C. and urge the administration to seriously reconsider it.”
“The Biden Administration’s costly and irresponsible decision move the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters to Washington, D.C., is yet another ill-conceived decision by this Administration. The BLM manages millions of acres of land, nearly all of it west of the Rockies. Therefore, placing BLM headquarters in the Rockies makes perfect sense. It would ensure that the people managing federal lands be geographically proximate to the people, lands and issues needing management,” said Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-04). “BLM must understand that the Western Headquarters is very beneficial to the region. Only an out of touch elite would think removing managers farther away from the property they manage is better. I look forward to a future where the next Republican President can reverse this terrible decision and bring the focus of BLM back to the lands it manages.”
“Concentrating power in Washington benefits no one but D.C. bureaucrats,” said Rep. Tom Emmer (MN-06). “The Biden Administration’s proposal to move the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters back to the swamp from the West, where 99% of BLM-managed land is located, makes no sense and will cost taxpayers millions. I’m proud to oppose this costly, misguided effort.”
The Text of Rep. Boebert’s Letter Blasting the Biden Regime’s Reprogramming Agenda is Available Here.
On August 10, 2020, the Trump Administration’s 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.
Rep. Boebert and the Western Caucus have actively opposed the partisan decision to move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to D.C.:
- In her first month in office, Rep. Boebert led a letter to President Biden requesting that the Bureau of Land Management headquarters remain in Grand Junction.
- In February, Rep. Boebert participated in a bipartisan and bicameral roundtable with Governor Polis and Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper calling on the Biden administration to keep the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction.
- In March, Rep. Boebert joined local stakeholders in inviting Secretary Haaland to visit the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction to hear how the agency’s move West has benefited rural Americans.
- Later in March, Rep. Boebert introduced the Local Opportunities, Conservation, and American Lands (LOCAL) Act to require that the Bureau of Land Management headquarters remain in Grand Junction.
- In April, Rep. Boebert joined Chairman of the Western Caucus, Congressman Dan Newhouse, at a roundtable with rural stakeholders discussing how the Bureau’s move West has given them a voice in land management decisions.
- In July, Rep. Boebert joined a bipartisan and bicameral roundtable with Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, Congressman Neguse, Governor Polis, and Secretary Haaland at the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction. Secretary Haaland heard from the farmers, ranchers, and rural community members that would be harmed if she moved the Bureau’s headquarters back to D.C.
- Later in July, Rep. Boebert led Reps. Doug Lamborn and Ken Buck in calling on Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper to hold up Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination in order to secure a commitment from the Biden administration to keep the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction.
- In September, Rep. Boebert’s amendment prohibiting the use of funds made available in the FY2022 budget from being used to close the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction passed the House Committee on Natural Resources with unanimous, bipartisan support.
- Chairman Newhouse and Chelsie Miera, Executive Director of the West Slope Oil and Gas Association, penned an op-ed in the Grand Junction Sentinel calling on Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper to secure a guarantee from the nominee for BLM Director, Tracy Stone-Manning, that she would support keeping the Headquarters in Grand Junction before voting to approve her. Click here to read the op-ed.
- Chairman Newhouse and Carlyle Currier, President of the Colorado Farm Bureau, highlighted Vice Chair Boebert’s bipartisan collaboration with the Colorado congressional delegation and Colorado Governor Jared Polis in an op-ed about her advocacy on behalf of her constituents and the rural West.