The Trump administration will move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Grand Junction, Colo., Senator Cory Gardner said Monday. It is a move that would put top officials closer to the lands they manage but farther from government policymakers.
Mr. Gardner, Republican of Colorado, has pushed for the change for years, and called it a victory for communities in the West.
“The problem with Washington is too many policymakers are far removed from the people they are there to serve,” he said in a statement. “Ninety-nine percent of the land the B.L.M. manages is west of the Mississippi River, and so should be the B.L.M. headquarters.”
Others saw more political motivations behind the decision. Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, a conservation group, said the announcement was “nothing but a P.R. stunt” and would drain the agency of officials who wouldn’t want to make the move.
“More than 90 percent of B.L.M. staff already work outside of Washington, D.C., and the agency has dozens of offices across the West,” she said in a statement. “Moving senior B.L.M. leadership would only turn the agency into an afterthought, rather than a core piece of the Interior Department.”