COLORADO (KRQE) – Colorado officials are urging Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to keep the Bureau of Land Management headquartered in Grand Junction. “That’s what this really represents. The opportunity to get the agency out to the public lands that it manages with the help all of us, the people actually using the public lands out here in Colorado,” said Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado).

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Haaland made her first visit to the site Friday where the Trump administration moved BLM headquarters in 2019. The facility has faced staffing turmoil ever since. More than 300 jobs were supposed to be moved from there from Washington but ultimately just three workers ever relocated.

Now, as Haaland reviews whether to keep BLM in Grand Junction, she says a chief concern is ensuring stability for the workers. “We need to put the BLM employees first and do what’s right for them. I remain open to the idea that Grand Junction can and will play a significant role in BLM’s future,” Haaland said.

Environmental advocates argued the move was meant to weaken the agency, which oversees vast public lands in the west. As a congresswoman at the time, Haaland opposed the relocation.