PROMO Outdoors - Mountains Trees Road Landscape Sun - iStock - welcomia

BLM secures Grand Junction real estate for new headquarters

© iStock - welcomia

By Derek Draplin | The Center Square

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced Friday that it found its new home in Grand Junction, Colorado.

The federal agency tasked with managing over 245 million acres of public land said it reached a lease agreement for office space to house its new headquarters in the Western Slope town. 

The BLM announced its intent in July to move its headquarters, a move federal officials have said could save taxpayers at least $50 million. 

“Standing up the headquarters is another step in providing better service to the American people and our neighbors in the West,” said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement

The Grand Junction office is located at 760 Horizon Drive, and the agency said the lease provides “significant cost savings” compared to office space in Washington, D.C., but did not disclose details.

Proponents of the move say it will mean federal employees will be closer to the public lands they’re managing. A vast majority of BLM-managed lands are located in western states.

“The presence of headquarters positions in BLM-Colorado will serve our diverse resource needs, from minerals to recreation and business and fiscal management,” BLM Colorado State Director Jamie Connell said. “The State and the entire Bureau will benefit from the policies and procedures these positions are responsible for, which directly impact the agency's day-to-day operations.  We look forward to welcoming these employees, including BLM senior leadership, to our beautiful state.”

While the move has been criticized by many environmental groups, it’s been lauded by some Colorado Democrats, including Governor Jared Polis and U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, who is running for president.