Reps. Boebert and Newhouse Listen to Local Stakeholders: “Keep the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters in Grand Junction.”
GRAND JUNCTION, CO – Today, Vice-Chair of the Western Caucus, Representative Lauren Boebert (CO-03) joined Chairman, Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) for a roundtable discussion with local stakeholders about the benefits of keeping the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Rep Boebert (CO-03) stated: “The Bureau of Land Management’s successful move West would not have happened without the efforts of so many people at the roundtable. Ninety-nine percent of the 245 million acres managed by the Bureau 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 partake in 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.”
Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-04) stated: “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. 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.”
Watch clips of the roundtable HERE.
In January, Rep. 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 the Grand Junction Economic Partnership to discuss the importance of keeping the Bureau's headquarters in Grand Junction.
In March, Rep. Boebert, the Mesa County Commissioners, and the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce formally invited Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to visit the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Rep. Boebert recently introduced the LOCAL Act to keep the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Grand Junction and protect 300 jobs that moved West as part of the relocation.
On August 10, 2020, the Department of the Interior formally established the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado. The Bureau manages 245 million acres—99% of which is located in the West. As a result of this move, local stakeholders are heard and bureaucrats are located near the people that their decisions impact the most.
The Western Caucus opposes efforts to strip away rural communities’ voice in government by isolating decisionmakers from the people they serve by moving the Bureau’s headquarters back to Washington, D.C. Local leaders at the roundtable expressed how much they appreciate having the Bureau accessibly located nearby and Bureau employees located in Grand Junction expressed their satisfaction living in a state that boasts four of the five best places to live according to U.S. News and World Report.
The Department of the Interior estimates that the move West 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. The agency 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 Bureau’s 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).
The move West is good for local stakeholders, Bureau employees, taxpayers, and western states. There is nothing not to like, and the agency’s responsible move West has not resulted in any federal employees’ union complaints, lawsuits, or lost jobs. The Bureau should be commended for its excellent work relocating its headquarters, and this progress should not be erased by baseless calls to move the headquarters back to the swamp.