Ed Perlmutter, Jared Polis join effort to relocate BLM’s headquarters to the West (and possibly Colorado)

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Washington, D.C., December 13, 2017 | comments

Democrats Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis have joined their Republican congressional colleagues in backing legislation that would allow the Bureau of Land Management to relocate it headquarters to the West, and possibly to Colorado.

The U.S. House members of Arvada and Boulder, respectively, have signed on as co-sponsors of a bill from U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, encouraging the relocation of BLM’s central operations from Washington, D.C., to the region of the country where it mainly operates.

Tipton’s measure is a mirror of one also introduced in the Senate by Colorado Republican Cory Gardner.

“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 to The Denver Post. “I believe Colorado is well-positioned to house the BLM headquarters as Coloradans value our public lands and outdoor recreation.”

Tipton and Gardner’s legislation was introduced in May. Perlmutter became a co-sponsor in June and Polis this month, records show.

U.S. Reps. Ken Buck, R-Windsor, Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, and Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, are also co-sponsors of Tipton’s bill, along with other Western lawmakers, most of them Republicans.

Gardner applauded Polis’ and Perlmutter’s co-sponsorship, saying “this is a common-sense proposal that Coloradans from across the political spectrum support.”

The BLM, which falls under the auspices of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more than 247 million acres of public land — mostly in the western half of the country — and oversees oil and gas development in that space.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who hails from Montana, has expressed interest in the idea of the agency’s relocation.

The legislation brought forth by Gardner and Tipton would allow the BLM to relocate to Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wyoming.

Tipton and Gardner have floated Grand Junction as a potential site for the BLM’s Western headquarters.

Perlmutter’s spokeswoman says he supports bringing the BLM’s headquarters to Colorado but does not have a specific site in mind.

Content originally published by The Denver Post on December 13, 2017.
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