Look out, Grand Junction: Ogden, Utah, makes a play for BLM headquarters

Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018 5:26 PM
Leaders in northern Utah plan to promote Ogden as a potential site for the Bureau of Land Management headquarters.

Grand Junction isn’t the only city in the West trying to lure the headquarters of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

As Tim Vandeneack of the Ogden Standard-Examiner reports, leaders in northern Utah planned to promote Ogden as a potential site for BLM headquarters when Susan Combs, a top official of the U.S. Department of the Interior, visited the city Tuesday. Interior is BLM’s parent agency.

Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell heard that his city had been “short-listed” for BLM’s headquarters. And U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, told the Standard-Examiner: “If you’re going to move (the BLM), Utah makes as much sense as anybody. I know other areas like Colorado, their senators are pushing big time. I thought it’s time to use my chairmanship to push back a little on the side of Utah.”

Bishop’s committee held a field hearing in Ogden on Tuesday. Afterward, he and others planned to give Combs a tour of the area.

Both of Colorado’s senators – Republican Cory Gardner and Democrat Michael Bennet – have lined up behind the effort to draw BLM to Grand Junction, which is surrounded by federal lands administered by the agency.

Some Durango business leaders have suggested the BLM consider relocating its headquarters to Durango, possibly in the BP building near the Durango-La Plata County Airport. BP plans to move into office space in downtown Durango.

Interior officials say they are looking seriously at a westward move for BLM headquarters, which would take congressional approval.