Rep. Boebert Introduces the LOCAL Act to Keep the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters in Grand Junction
Today, Congressman Lauren Boebert (CO-03) introduced the “Local Opportunities, Conservation, and American Lands Act” or the “LOCAL Act” to keep the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters in Grand Junction.
Rep. Boebert stated: “Westerners deserve a voice in the land-use decisions that affect their lives daily. I am proud to introduce the LOCAL Act to ensure that our local communities have access to the decision-makers at the Bureau of Land Management headquarters. Since 99% of the lands that the Bureau manages are West of the Mississippi, it only makes sense to have the agency located close to the communities it serves.”
American Energy Alliance president Tom Pyle said, “The decision by the Trump Administration to move the BLM headquarters out West was wise. The West is disproportionately impacted by decisions pertaining to the management of our public lands. It only makes sense that the leadership of the BLM be a part of that community. If COVID showed us anything positive, it’s that people can work productively remotely.”
Off-Road Business Association, Inc.’s Scott Jones said: “We vigorously support the LOCAL Act requiring BLM headquarters permanently remaining in Grand Junction. Placement of the headquarters in this more centralized location allows for more timely and effective transfer of information and alignment of resources. This type of communication has proven invaluable in responding to the COVID outbreak as effectively as possible.”
Rep. Boebert introduced the LOCAL Act to keep the headquarters in Grand Junction in order to protect over 300 Western jobs in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana/Dakotas, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Washington/Oregon, and Wyoming.
Additionally, the LOCAL Act will ensure that taxpayers continue to benefit from having the headquarters out west. The Department of the Interior estimates that in 2021, the move west will save more than $2 million in lease costs and $1.9 million in salary savings. Additionally, the agency reported $1.9 million in savings on travel costs in 2020.
The LOCAL Act ensures Bureau of Land Management employees currently in western states will remain in western states and requires the BLM Headquarters to remain in its current location in Grand Junction. The bill also tasks the Department of the Interior with analyzing whether moving more positions out West or to the Grand Junction Headquarters will improve management of federal lands, save more taxpayer dollars, increase coordination with local communities, and strengthen tourism, conservation, outdoor recreation, grazing, responsible energy production, or other multiple uses.
On August 10, 2020, the Department of the Interior formally established the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado. The establishment of the headquarters in Grand Junction has reduced the number of long cross-country flights, improved training, delegated more responsibility to employees in the field, improved customer service and coordination with local communities, ensured better decisions earlier in the decision-making process, reduced commute times for employees, and provided good-paying local jobs.
In January, Congresswoman Boebert led an effort supported by 23 Members of the House to ensure the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters remains in Grand Junction, Colorado. In February, Rep. Boebert joined Colorado Governor Jared Polis, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, and local stakeholders in a bipartisan roundtable hosted by Grand Junction Economic Partnership to discuss the importance of keeping the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters in Grand Junction. Earlier this month, Congresswoman Boebert, the Mesa County Commissioners and the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce formally invited the next Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to visit the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters in Grand Junction, CO.
Supporters of Congressman Boebert’s bill include:
American Energy Alliance, Arizona Mining Association, Arizona Rock Products Association, Club 20, Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO), Colorado Snowmobile Association (CSA), Garfield County Commissioners, Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, Idaho Recreation Council, Mesa County Commissioners, New Mexico Cattle Growers, Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), One Voice/U4WD, Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA), United Snowmobile Alliance, Western Energy Alliance.
10 Members of Congress joined Representative Boebert in introducing her bill including:
Representatives Ken Buck (CO-04), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Randy Weber (TX-14), Scott Perry (PA-10), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Don Young (AK-at large).