Gardner was the chief architect of the plan to move the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters West
“Today is a historic day for our nation’s public lands, western states, and the people of Colorado,” said Senator Gardner. “Relocating the Bureau of Land Management to the Western Slope of Colorado will bring the bureau’s decision makers closer to the people they serve and the public lands they manage. The problem with Washington is too many policy makers are far removed from the people they are there to serve. Ninety-nine percent of the land the BLM manages is West of the Mississippi River, and so should be the BLM headquarters. This is a victory for local communities, advocates for public lands, and proponents for a more responsible and accountable federal government.”
Senator Cory Gardner—in his effort to reshape the way Washington bureaucracy interacts with Americans its rules and regulations impact—was the chief architect of the plan to move the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters West. Gardner’s steadfast commitment to his proposal, along with public legislative action and behind-the-scenes work with key Administration officials, is the reason the BLM’s new home will be in Colorado.
Note: Click here to watch Senator Gardner’s remarks
- June 2016: Gardner first raised the idea to move BLM West at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing and began gathering input from Coloradans.
- January 2017: When Ryan Zinke was nominated to lead the Interior Department, Gardner spoke to Zinke about his proposal and brought the topic up during Zinke’s confirmation hearing.
- April 2017: Gardner visited with local leaders and constituents in Grand Junction about his efforts to move BLM to Grand Junction: “We have to make sure the Western Slope has that loud, strong voice it deserves.”
- May of 2017: Gardner introduced the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters Relocation Act, legislation that would authorize the move of BLM headquarters from Washington, D.C. to a Western state.
- Following introduction of the bill, Colorado local officials and organizations voiced their support for Gardner’s bill.
- July 2017: In an op-ed, Gardner said Grand Junction makes “perfect sense” to be the new home for BLM’s headquarters.
- Over the past two years, Gardner has spoken with top Interior Department officials about moving BLM West many times and has publicly and privately advocated for Grand Junction as the agency’s final home.
- August 2017: Gardner proposal gained momentum when a report indicated Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke was looking to relocate BLM West.
- February 2018: Gardner spoke on the Senate floor about his proposal to move BLM headquarters to the West stating in part, “When you don’t live in the communities that are among and surrounded by these lands, it is easy to make decisions that close off energy development or close cattle ranches, because the consequences are felt out west, and not in D.C.”
- April 2018: As Deputy Secretary, Bernhardt publicly stated BLM will move West.
- July 2018: Gardner received another commitment from the Department of Interior about their agreement with him that BLM Headquarters should be moved West during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
- September 2018: Gardner held a roundtable discussion in Grand Junction with local elected officials, community leaders, and city employees on his work and their joint efforts to move BLM out of Washington, D.C. and to Colorado.
- May 2019: Bernhardt again confirmed the plans to move BLM West to Gardner at his confirmation hearing to become Interior Secretary.
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.