FILE - In this Dec. 31, 2018, file photo, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., arrives at the Senate Chamber for an abbreviated pro-forma session at the Capitol in Washington. The headquarters of the U.S. government's largest land agency will move from the nation's capital to western Colorado, a Republican senator said Monday, July 15, 2019, a high-profile component of the Trump administration's plan to reorganize management of the nation's natural resources. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

GOP: US land agency is moving West, closer to its territory

July 16, 2019 - 12:28 am

DENVER (AP) — Some Westerners complain the U.S. government is an absentee landlord, managing vast tracts of public lands in their states from the nation's capital, but GOP lawmakers say that may change soon.

Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner said Monday the Bureau of Land Management is moving its headquarters from Washington to his state.

He said the new office would be in Grand Junction, 250 miles (400 kilometers) west of Denver.

A Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman said she couldn't confirm or deny the move. An announcement about the agency's plans was expected Tuesday.

A spokesman for Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop says Colorado, Nevada and Utah could each gain 50 jobs.

The bureau oversees nearly 388,000 square miles (1 billion square kilometers) of public land, and 99% is in 12 Western states.

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