Let’s just say up front that U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s idea to move the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Grand Junction is as brilliant as it is unlikely to come to fruition.
“Brilliant” may be a strong term, but how else to describe a proposal that would be nothing but beneficial to Grand Junction? It would go down as one of the most important developments in the city’s history for its economic impact alone.
We can’t even say with any confidence that this is a good move for the BLM. It would remove the agency from the immediate orbit of the Interior Department. One former department staffer, Mark Squillace, now director of the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado School of Law, said it could further politicize what’s already a politicized agency.
But Gardner, R-Colorado, is correct in pointing out that the agency’s headquarters is too far physically removed from the lands it’s charged with managing. As he told the Sentinel’s Dennis Webb, 99 percent of the nearly 250 million acres the BLM manages is west of the Mississippi River.