07.19.18

Interior Confirms to Senator Gardner That They Support His Proposal to Move BLM HQ West

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) received another commitment from the Department of Interior today about their agreement with him that the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters should be moved West. 

The commitment came in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Thursday morning when Senator Gardner questioned Susan Combs, Senior Advisor, U.S Department of Interior. Over the last two years Senator Gardner has been making the case to Interior Secretary Zinke and the Department of Interior officials that due to the fact that ninety-nine percent of the nearly 250 million acres of land managed by BLM is west of the Mississippi River, having the decision-makers present in the communities they impact will lead to better results. Senator Gardner is also the author of legislation to move the BLM West.

“Moving the BLM Headquarters West has been a top priority of mine in the Senate, and I was glad the Interior Department confirmed to me again – that they agree with my plan,” said Senator Gardner.  “Making this agency more accountable to the people who have to deal with its management decisions by putting its headquarters among the land it manages would be a great start to modernizing for the next 100 years. I’ll continue to make the case about why Colorado and the West is where this agency belongs.”

ENR Hearing

NOTE: View full video here.

Transcript of Today’s Interior Hearing

Senator Gardner: “In the coming weeks I plan to introduce a bill that would create a Good Samaritan pilot project to show that this concept can work and will work at the federal level as well as it already works at the state level in many places across the country. I look forward to working with the Department of Interior on it. And finally I would like to know what is the department’s timeline in its evaluation for potential relocation of destinations for the Bureau of Land Management headquarters?”

Susan Combs, Interior: “Thank you senator for that question. What we’re doing right now is trying to get the region set and so that’s why I have two maps here to talk about. The secretary has made it clear that he does want to move BLMs headquarters west and no location has been picked but that is something that we would expect to really take a look at in the next 6 months or so, 8 months, but we do that very carefully very thoughtfully because the fact that you don’t just pick a spot, you have to do the analysis what’s its flight back and forth what’s the cost of living what’s it like to live there because you want people to go where they’re going to be happy.”

Senator Gardner: “But the bottom line is the secretary does intend to relocate and move out of Washington DC to the west, the Bureau of Land Management?

Susan Combs, Interior: “Absolutely.

  

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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 the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.