03.10.20

Colorado Priorities a Focus at Senate Committee Hearing

Gardner questions DOI Secretary Bernhardt about the Arkansas Valley Conduit, BLM headquarters move, and fully funding the LWCF

Washington, D.C. – Today at a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) questioned Interior Secretary David Bernhardt about funding for the Arkansas Valley Conduit, the relocation of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) headquarters to Grand Junction, and the commitment Gardner secured from President Trump to support full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) as well as funding to address the deferred maintenance backlog in the National Park System and on other federal lands, all of which are Colorado priorities that Gardner secured within the last year.

enr hearing

NOTE: Click here or the picture above to download Senator Gardner’s remarks.

“Secretary Bernhardt, I want to start by saying thank you for the Interior Department’s commitment to Colorado priorities,” said Senator Gardner. “Yesterday I introduced the Great American Outdoors Act to provide full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is a historic opportunity for conservation and environmental protection, and it wouldn’t be possible without the support from the Administration. Thank you as well for solving the Anvil Points issue in Colorado, for funding construction on the Arkansas Valley Conduit, and relocating the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters to Grand Junction so we can have the decision makers grounded in the communities where those decisions have the most impact and the most effect.”

At the hearing, Secretary Bernhardt confirmed to Senator Gardner that the BLM is on track with its relocation to Grand Junction and the agency has received an abundance of quality applicants for open positions.

Background:

  • In March 2020, after Gardner secured President Trump’s support, Gardner introduced the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act to provide full and permanent funding for the LWCF and address the $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks and other land management agencies.
  • Gardner secured $28 million for the Arkansas Valley Conduit in February 2020 to provide affordable and abundant clean drinking water for 50,000 Coloradans and 40 communities in southeastern Colorado.
  • The BLM signed a lease agreement for its new headquarters in Grand Junction in September 2019, after years of pushing by Gardner, who was the chief architect of the plan to move the BLM headquarters to Grand Junction.
  • In March 2018, Senator Gardner announced the Department of the Interior would distribute approximately $18 million at his request to Garfield, Rio Blanco, Moffat, and Mesa Counties to clean up the former Anvil Points federal oil shale research site.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.