By Allison Winter | Arizona Mirror
U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva on Tuesday blasted the Trump administration’s plan to disperse the Bureau of Land Management to offices across the West as an attempt to “dismantle” the agency.
“What is being called a reorganization of the BLM appears to be nothing more than a poorly-veiled attempt to dismantle a federal agency,” Grijalva said at a U.S. House hearing on the proposal.
Some Democrats and public lands advocates question whether the proposal would lead to a mass exodus of skilled federal employees and create a leadership vacuum for BLM in Washington.
Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat, characterized the move as part of the Trump administration’s “campaign to undermine American public lands.”
The reorganization plan would shutter BLM’s Washington office and disperse agency employees. The administration would open a new, smaller headquarters office in Grand Junction, Colo., with 27 positions, mostly top managers at BLM. Most of the rest of the 350 BLM employees who currently work in Washington would go to various state offices across the West. Another 61 BLM positions would remain in Washington.