Roundtable advocates to keep BLM headquarters in Grand Junction
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Local leaders of Western Colorado held a Tuesday morning roundtable and press conference, advocating for the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to remain in Grand Junction.
The Trump administration moved those headquarters to Colorado in 2019. However, Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has made clear that the new administration believes it was a mistake to move the headquarters out of Washington D.C. and into the current location on Horizon Drive.
Local leaders spent Tuesday’s roundtable explaining why Western Colorado is a perfect fit for the headquarters. 36 percent of land in Colorado is currently owned by the federal government. Just days after President Biden’s term began on January 20th, both of Colorado’s senators sent the new administration a letter asking to keep the BLM headquarters in Grand Junction.
“All of us here are very proud that this is a bipartisan effort, that this has always had bicameral support,” says Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, representative for Colorado’s third congressional district. “I’m very grateful for senators Michael Bennet and Jonathan Hickenlooper who are supporting us in this. We also had a bipartisan meeting in February with Governor Jared Polis, who is very supportive in keeping this here.”
Congresswoman Boebert was joined by Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse at Tuesday’s roundtable. Both representatives have reached out to the Secretary Haaland, asking her to visit the current headquarters in Grand Junction.
“I’m optimistic she’ll say, yes I’d love to come to Grand Junction,” Rep. Newhouse explained. “It would be just really powerful. We’re going to make it so hard for them to change their mind that they won’t be able to.”
Haaland did tell Senator Hickenlooper in late February that she would make the trip out to Western Colorado at some point to visit the headquarters in person.
Other speakers at the roundtable included Diane Schwenke from the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, Bonnie Petersen of the Associated Governments of Northwestern Colorado, and Robin Brown, Executive Director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.
The main point from every speaker today — the BLM headquarters should be in the heart of the land they oversee, rather than thousands of miles away in the nation’s capital.
“I believe that these decisions are best made when people work, live, and raise their families right here in the communities where they are most impacted,” Rep. Boebert says. “The Bureau of Land Management headquarters should remain in Grand Junction. Period.”
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