Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Bureau of Land Management will move back to D.C., Haaland says

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland delivers remarks at an event commemorating the delivery of the Red Road Totem Pole to the Biden Administration on July 29, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Native Organizers Alliance

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced Friday that the Bureau of Land Management national headquarters will return back to Washington, D.C., after being relocated under former President Trump in 2019.

Why it matters: "The move led to widespread stress and frustration among headquarters staff in Washington, who were given a deadline of last summer to move to rural Colorado or other Western cities or lose their jobs," the Washington Post reports.

  • While the bureau's director and other "key leadership positions" will return to D.C., "additional senior personnel will operate from the Western headquarters, as part of the more than 95 percent of BLM employees that are already located outside" the nation's capital, according to the BLM release announcing the changes.

What she's saying: "It is imperative that the bureau have the appropriate structure and resources to serve the American public,” said Haaland, per the release. “There’s no doubt that the 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-making levers to best carry out its mission."

  • "In addition, the BLM’s robust presence in Colorado and across the West will continue to grow,” she added.
  • “The past several years have been incredibly disruptive to the organization, to our public servants, and to their families. As we move forward, my priority is to revitalize and rebuild the BLM so that it can meet the pressing challenges of our time, and to look out for our employees’ well-being,” Haaland said.

Go deeper: Trump administration moving Bureau of Land Management HQ out of D.C.

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