Federal Agency’s Move to Colorado Threatens Public Lands, Science and the Climate

This The Revelator article discusses how moving the Bureau of Land Management to Grand Junction, Colorado, threatens public lands, science and the climate. The relocation reflects a widespread pattern of destabilization under President Trump.

When it comes to public lands, the National Park Service has better name recognition among Americans, but it’s the Bureau of Land Management, along with the USDA’s Forest Service, that has more influence. The BLM has jurisdiction over 246 million acres — more than the Forest Service and three times that of the National Park Service — and makes important decisions about oil and gas leasing, mining, grazing, recreation, and other uses of those lands.

Now it seems the BLM’s vast holdings may be in peril due to continued attacks on the agency by the Trump administration, including its decision to relocate the agency’s headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado, and scatter other employees around the country.

All but about 60 of the agency’s hundreds of Washington, D.C. staff will be sent “out West,” including the relocation of congressional affairs staff to Reno, Nevada, and the distribution of the environmental staff to offices in seven states. In total more than 200  positions will be relocated. High-level officials in the Department of the Interior, which oversees the BLM, justified the move by saying it will bring the staff closer to the lands that they manage, most of which are in the West.

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