By: - September 20, 2021 2:30 pm
BLM Grand Junction office building

This office building in Grand Junction, Colo., has been the national the headquarters for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management since August 2020. Other existing tenants in the building include Chevron, and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. (Photo: BLM)

The Department of Interior has announced that the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management will return to Washington, D.C., instead of sharing an office building with an oil and gas company and industry lobbyists in the town of Grand Junction, Colorado.

“There’s no doubt that the BLM should have a leadership presence in Washington, D.C. – like all the other land management agencies – to ensure that it has access to the policy-, budget-, and decision-making levers to best carry out its mission,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement Friday.

The Grand Junction offices will continue to serve as “the bureau’s Western headquarters,” the department said in a release.

Conservationists and elected Democrats, including Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, widely panned the Trump administration’s decision, first announced in July 2019 and completed in August 2020, to move the BLM headquarters to Grand Junction.

Critics said the effort would gut the agency by diminishing its influence in the nation’s capital and forcing out experienced career staff who worked there.

The BLM manages tens of millions of acres of public land, predominantly in Western states, including nearly 50 million acres in Nevada. According to Interior, more than 95 percent of the bureau’s employees will remain employed outside of Washington, D.C., as they were prior to the Trump administration’s relocation of the headquarters.

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Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.

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