Moffat County BOCC proposes resolution in support of moving BLM headquarters to Grand Junction |

Moffat County BOCC proposes resolution in support of moving BLM headquarters to Grand Junction

Craig Press staff report

CRAIG — The Moffat County Board of County Commissioners is putting a resolution on the table in support of moving the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management from Washington D.C. to Grand Junction.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) has introduced a bill that would authorize moving the BLM to one of the following western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wyoming. The BLM manages a combined 385,000 square miles in those states.

Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton introduced a similar measure in the House, and three Democrats signed on as co-sponsors: Reps. Kyrsten Sinema, of Arizona, and Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter, of Colorado.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said in September he wants to move much of the Interior Department’s decision-making to the West, including the Bureau of Land Management, which is part of the agency.

The Washington Post reported last month Zinke’s plan includes dividing his department’s regions along river systems and other natural features instead of state borders and using them to restructure oversight.

According to the Grand Junction Sentinel, the movement has support from the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado and some officials in Garfield County and Rangely.

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Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese told the Sentinel that Grand Junction is an unlikely headquarters for several reasons, among them limited air service, but it’s a natural choice for a regional center housing several Interior Department agencies with business in western Colorado, eastern Utah, southwest Wyoming and northern Arizona and New Mexico, she said.

Other items on the agenda are as follows.

  • In the consent agenda, the BOCC will review reports from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Stormwater and a landfill fees contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission.
  • The BOCC will review an application for an exemption from subdivision regulations and applications for three communications towers.
  • The BOCC will hear a monthly report from the human resources department.
  • The board will make a determination on an application from the department of human services to convert a position from an office assistant to a staff assistant. The conversion would pay the position more with hopes of reducing employee turnover in the position. The conversion would cost the county an additional $660 annually.