Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced Friday that the Bureau of Land Management will move its headquarters back to Washington, a reversal of a heavily criticized Trump administration decision to relocate the public lands agency to Grand Junction, Colo.
More than 87 percent of the staff of the agency, which oversees oil and gas development as well as recreation on millions of acres of federal lands, left the agency when its leaders established the new headquarters, in a building shared by Chevron and an oil and gas lobbying association. Critics contended that was the ultimate motive behind the move to Colorado, driven by an administration promising to “drain the swamp” of Washington bureaucrats.
In announcing the return to Washington, Ms. Haaland said that the past few years had been “incredibly disruptive” to the agency, and said the B.L.M. must have “the appropriate structure and resources” to address climate change and expand access to public lands.