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Two Dems join bill to move BLM to West
Two Front Range Democrats have thrown support behind legislation that would move the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management to a Western state — and ultimately in Grand Junction.
U.S. Reps. Ed Perlmutter of Arvada and Jared Polis of Boulder signed on as cosponsors of the bill by Rep. Scott Tipton, a Cortez Republican, that would require the BLM to move its offices to one of the states in which it manages vast swaths of land.
"Relocating BLM headquarters to the West would be a natural fit with the agency's mission and purview, and allow agency officials to be closer to the land and minerals they oversee," Perlmutter said in a statement. "I believe Colorado is well-positioned to house the BLM headquarters as Coloradans value our public lands and outdoor recreation."
Polis, who is seeking the Democrat nomination for governor to replace term-limited John Hickenlooper, signed on as a cosponsor to the Tipton bill some weeks ago, his Washington, D.C., office said.
Another representative, Denver Democrat Diana DeGette, was considering the bill, according to her staff.
Tipton and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., offered identical bills in the House and Senate calling for the move.
Gardner and Tipton also pointed to Grand Junction as a likely home for the agency, which manages 247 million acres of land, mostly in the West, including 1,500 of Mesa County's 3,300 square miles.
Perlmutter had no specific location in mind when cosponsoring the Tipton bill, Perlmutter's office said.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former Montana representative, has suggested that it would make sense to move the BLM headquarters and its staff of 600 to Denver until suitable quarters could be established in Grand Junction.
Tipton's Bureau of Land Management Headquarters Relocation Act, HR 2287, is cosponsored by all Colorado House Republicans, as well as three Arizona Republicans, two Texas Republicans and GOP representatives from Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, North Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.
SB 1007, Gardner's bill, has four cosponsors, all Republicans, from Alaska, Montana, Nevada and Utah.