(The Center Square) - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced this week it's adding a management district in Colorado, marking a realignment of how the federal agency divvies up its efforts across the state.
The addition of the new Upper Colorado River District means a realignment for the existing Northwest Colorado District, Southwest Colorado District, and Rocky Mountain District, said the BLM, which manages over 8.3 million acres of federal public land in Colorado.
"After the last realignment effort in 2016, the BLM committed to conducting an evaluation to see how things were working and if any adjustments were needed," Colorado State Director Jamie Connell said in a statement this week. "We did our evaluation, had strong dialogue with everyone affected by our new realignment, garnered resounding support and are now poised to better serve the public."
The changes will "align the BLM Colorado's fire units to improve public and wildland firefighter safety, as well as create more efficient, logical geographic, and geopolitical boundaries," the agency said.
Federal, state and local agencies have been battling record wildfires across the state for much of the summer.
Colorado's four BLM districts are made up of several field offices.
Under the changes, the new Upper Colorado River District includes the Grand Junction and Colorado River Valley Field Offices. The Northwest Colorado District includes the Little Snake, White River and Kremmling Field Offices, while the Southwest Colorado District includes the Gunnison, Tres Rios and Uncompahgre Field Offices. The Rocky Mountain District now includes the Royal Gorge and San Luis Valley Field Offices.
BLM said it will hire a district manager for the new Upper Colorado River District, among other positions hired.
BLM's national headquarters was moved from Washington to Grand Junction over the last year.