On September 17, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the relocation of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) headquarters back to Washington, D.C. BLM completed its relocation to Grand Junction in August 2020, a year after the initial announcement. Secretary Haaland outlined the director and other leadership positions would be permanently stationed in Washington D.C., while the Grand Junction office will be converted to a “Western Hub.”
The Secretary noted that “BLM should have a leadership presence in Washington, D.C. – like all the other land management agencies – to ensure that it has access to the policy-, budget- and decision-makers to carry out its mission.” Currently, other key U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) offices such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service are headquartered in Washington, D.C.
The Trump Administration announced the relocation of BLM headquarters to Grand Junction in 2019, and the process took over a year to complete. Of the 328 positions moved out of Washington, D.C., only 41 of the affected employees relocated. Outside of the core leadership positions, BLM does not plan to require employees to relocate. In addition to returning the headquarters to Washington, D.C., DOI will also establish a new BLM Foundation. Counties encourage DOI and BLM to coordinate with local governments as additional logistics and planning occurs in the coming months.