By Stan Bush

DENVER (CBS4) – Rep. Jared Polis is the latest to join an effort to move the Bureau of Land Management out of Washington DC and into the West.

“Our public lands are in Colorado and Utah and Arizona and to have people that are helping to administer them that are closer to the land will be a step up in public land management,” said the Democrat who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District.

Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican who represents Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, introduced the bill earlier this year. Mostly western Republicans support the bill, though two other Democrats, including Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, are also on board.

“I would say the closer the BLM land is to the land we treasure in Colorado, the more likely they are to understand the importance of these lands to our economy and our way of life,” Polis said.

(credit: CBS)

No specific location is designated for the speculative relocation of the BLM, though supporters of the bill are likely to make a case why their states are best suited for the agency that manages millions of acres of federal land.

Critics worry moving the federal agency could disrupt local job markets if and when an administration promises to shrink the size of the federal work force.

The bill is also getting new attention in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s administration announcing plans to dramatically reduce two Utah national monuments by millions of acres.

Moving the agency would not affect the political nature of those decisions, but Polis says it could change the culture inside the agency itself.

“It’s a great alternative to this idea of selling off our public lands,” he said.

Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

  1. On paper this may look like a great idea, but unless control of the BLM remains in federal hands, individual states may decide to allow federal lands to be taken over by those who want to exploit the resources and destroy the animals that survive on this land. Please rethink this idea, since the BLM has not a satisfactory job of managing our wild horses, burros, wolves, bison, elk, deer and moose populations and have not done much better with the smaller animals, because of pressure from those who want to use public grazing lands for their own personal gain (grazing beef cattle ).
    Once these magnificent animals are gone, they will never return and we will have lost one of our national treasures. Not everything can be used up and replace no matter how much money you throw at it. God gave us these natural resources and we are supposed to be the guardians of these lands and the animals that live on them. Think before you vote because once this is done there will be no turning back.

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