Udall Statement On BLM Relocation Proposal

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), the ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee overseeing the Department of the Interior’s budget, released the following statement Tuesday on the Trump Interior Department’s proposal to reorganize the Bureau of Land Management, including to relocate hundreds of staff and move the agency’s official headquarters to Grand Junction, Colo.:
“The Interior Department has not made a convincing argument for why such a relocation is necessary or in the best interests of the Bureau of Land Management or the American people. Congress needs much more information from the Interior Department about this proposal to evaluate whether it is legal or advisable, as well as how much taxpayer money it would cost. I support putting more land management staff and resources on the ground in Western states, which is why I have fought to reject the administration’s disastrous budget proposals over the last three years and to increase BLM’s funding.

But BLM leadership must be accessible and accountable to all affected states and to Congress, which sits in Washington. A sudden relocation would also likely mean BLM would shed essential staff, crippling the agency’s ability to carry out its responsibilities to protect and manage our precious public lands. Based on what I know so far, I have serious reservations about this plan, and the department needs be transparent about how much it will cost and what it will really mean for public lands. And the administration must work with Congress before it implements any sweeping relocation proposal.”


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