Office of land management to bring senior management back to Washington

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will move several of its leadership positions to Washington, DC, after a controversial Trump-era decision to send leaders to Grand Junction, Colorado.

An email from BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning, obtained by The Hill, says the agency will “consolidate” most of its directors in Washington.

Specifically, he says the Director and Deputy Director of Operations have already returned to the district, joining the Deputy Director of Policy and Programs. He said 8 additional leaders, including “most deputy directors and assistant deputy directors,” will also return to DC

The message also said that 30 vacant leadership positions at headquarters will be based in DC.

A spokesperson for the Home Office, which oversees the BLM, confirmed the accuracy of the email obtained by The Hill, which detailed the fate of the 11 leadership positions and 30 vacant positions.

Spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz also confirmed that a total of approximately 100 positions, including 60 existing positions and the aforementioned 41 positions, will be based in DC.

Thirty-six jobs will remain at Grand Junction and are expected to be supplemented by other jobs to be posted that were referenced in Stone-Manning’s email.

In 2019, the Trump administration announced that the Bureau of Land Management would move its headquarters from Washington DC to Grand Junction.

He argued that the move, which was completed last year, would bring officials closer to the land they managed.

But critics saw it as an attempt to drive out career civil servants who might not have wanted to move west.

The Biden administration announced in September that it would restore its headquarters to DC, but also retain the Colorado office as its “Western headquarters.”

Stone-Manning’s email obtained by The Hill says two positions, deputy director of national conservation lands and community partnerships and deputy deputy director, will “anchor” the Colorado office.

She wrote that the office “plans” to post additional positions that “reflect this office’s leadership role in BLM’s outdoor recreation, conservation, clean energy and science missions, as well as the sensitization and tribal consultation”.

His post said that the fate of some posts remains up in the air.

“We have not made any decisions on the best locations for some of the additional vacancies at headquarters and are also evaluating other positions that have been moved and dispersed across the West in 2019 and how best to fill the role of headquarters. of the West,” Stone-Manning wrote.

“I will rely on the employee advisory group we are creating to inform these decisions, as well as help represent employee perspectives when implementing decisions, including considerations related to remote work and telecommuting,” she added.

–Updated at 2:37 p.m.