“Westward No!” BLM Bureaucrats Resist Moving From DC to Colorado

Guest “making the bureaucrats quit” by David Middleton

Westward No! A Bitter Land-Office Business in Taming Federal Bureaucrats
By Vince Bielski, RealClearInvestigations
April 07, 2020

The Trump administration’s big strike against the federal bureaucracy is quietly unfolding at the Bureau of Land Management, where its senior managers and scientific staff have been told to pack up their desks in Washington, D.C., and move to its new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colo. and other western offices. Most employees aren’t climbing aboard the wagon train.

The shake-up, meant to make the bureaucracy more accountable to the drillers, cattle ranchers, hunters and hikers who use America’s public lands, is part of the sweeping deregulation that has fueled a boom in U.S. energy production through last year. 

[…]

“It’s more efficient now,” says Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance, a trade group representing 300 oil and gas companies that pushed for the BLM move. “You can be productive without fighting for years to get a permit. They are processed more efficiently in less time.”

The gusher that has been feeding the coffers of states like Wyoming and New Mexico, however, is also raising concerns about the impact on some of the country’s spectacular landscapes and wildlife. Noting that only 80 of 174 employees have agreed to move west, environmental groups and some former BLM managers warn that relocating the agency’s headquarters reflects a broader shift of authority to political appointees, from career bureaucrats with years of expertise.

“The relocation will have a substantial impact on the management of our public lands,’’ says Ray Brady, a retired senior manager and minerals specialist who worked in the Washington headquarters for 23 years. “We view it as a dismantling of the organization and turning major decisions on public lands over to political people who have agendas.” The department and bureau didn’t respond to requests for comment.

[…]

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who spearheaded the effort to move the agency to his state, isn’t concerned about the experts the bureau is losing. The Republican lawmaker said BLM is hiring to fill those spots and that it is more important to have career employees living in the West where they’ll learn about the local issues and take a more common-sense approach to regulation.

If people don’t want to live and work in the West, on the land that they’re regulating, that’s probably a good decision” to leave the BLM, he says. “I find it offensive and elitist that somebody would refuse to live on the land they regulate.”

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Offshore oil & gas (and wind) operations are primarily regulated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM, pronounced Bo’em) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE, pronounced Bessie).

BOEM, BSEE and their predecessor, the Minerals Management Service (MMS), maintain large regional offices in New Orleans, where most of the regulatory decisions are made. Most of the employees have strong ties to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region (they care about the health of important industries and environmental quality of the region) and many have oil & gas industry experience (they know what they’re doing).

It would be truly idiotic for Gulf of Mexico operations to be regulated from Washington DC. Just as it has been truly idiotic to regulate these lands from Washinhgton DC:

https://www.blm.gov/office/national-office/hq-move-west

Featured Image

https://www.blm.gov/about/history

Day 23 of America Held Hostage by ChiCom-19

Great news for Dallas County (H/T Wayne Townsend)…

CORONAVIRUS
Dallas County Leaders Vote To Limit Jenkins’ Power, Discuss Temporary Hospital
By Katy Blakey • Published April 7, 2020

Dallas County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to limit some of the powers of the office of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Jenkins has become the face of the local COVID-19 response, providing almost daily updates and using executive powers to make sweeping decisions for the county’s response.

Commissioners passed an amendment that requires Jenkins to now notify commissioners before he places any more restrictions on “essential businesses,” giving them time to call a meeting.

Jenkins must also get a majority vote from commissioners before he extends the current shelter-in-place order past April 30.

Commissioners also discussed the work needed to transition the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center into a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients.

NBC5 DFW

Fire Marshal Gump (Judge Jenkins) was relying on the wildly inaccurate COVID Act Now models to relentlessly and unilaterally extend his emergency powers…

Fire Marshal Gump, he county’s chief executive (a liberal Democrat) was basically at war with the Mayor of Dallas (a moderate Democrat), Governor of Texas (a conservative-ish Republican) and Trump administration. He was basically refusing to communicate with State and Federal officials, except through Twitter and Facebook and nearly lost the Federal temporary hospital at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, by refusing to confirm how the county would use it, aggravating Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and the rest of the Dallas County Commissioners. This was the Mayor’s statement regarding Jenkins’ mishandling of the convention center hospital…

“I share the Governor’s concerns, and I was stunned and deeply disappointed to hear about Dallas County’s position on the pop-up hospital at the City’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

“This hospital is an important asset that we have worked proactively, collaboratively, and tirelessly with our federal and state partners to obtain for our region. I am alarmed that these medical resources are now at risk as we begin preparing for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases. I am committed to continuing to work with our partners to open this facility as quickly as we can to help serve our community’s needs.

“The City of Dallas has acted swiftly and aggressively to slow the spread of COVID-19. We cannot afford inaction now.”

https://www.facebook.com/DallasMayor/

Dallas County’s ChiCom-19 case count has now topped the Dean Wormer line…

Dallas CountyCHICOM-19
PopulationCasesDeaths
2,637,7721,32420
% of population with0.0502%0.00076%
% wth, rounded0.1%0.00%
% without99.9498%99.9992%
% without, rounded99.9%100.00%

At this rate, we’ll reach the Mendoza Line on June 30, 2033.

96 thoughts on ““Westward No!” BLM Bureaucrats Resist Moving From DC to Colorado

  1. I’ve been in both Washington DC and Grand Junction, Colorado. Any BLM employee that doesn’t want to move to Grand Junction, and leave the swamp behind, is showing their true colors. What a great idea, have regulatory bureaucrats live embedded in the environment they regulate! Hats off to Trump, draining the swamp one swamp creature at a time. Stay safe. PS How does Mario Mendoza play for 6 years in the Bigs and not even bat his weight?

    • I have been through Grand Junction once on a road trip. Seemed like a nice place – why would you want to ruin it?

      In my opinion, BLM should be even more centralized in their area of “authoritah.” I think there are still surplus Quonset huts on the market that could be set up someplace in northern Nevada.

      • Elko would be nice. They used to have a couple of “ranches” there where the DC types would fit right in, for a price of course.

      • Nah, they should be housed in Quonsets at some local garbage tip / recycling centre in DC. Now that is land than actually needs management. They could actually get their precious little paws dirty ‘n’ all.

        • I think the northern Nevada area referred to is the nuclear weapons test site. All of that nasty radioactivity should be cleaned up as it is very dangerous, and it is best that the managers live on the job.

          • Nuc site is in Southern Nevada. I would put them in central Nevada, where they would need to travel long distances to get the “culture” they will be missing from the Pelosi funded Kennedy Center. Then you would get people who hunt, fish, hike, etc. in the bureaucracy.

            Minimum requirements to hire: Must have training in forestry, animal husbandry or mining and mineral exploration. Environmental degree holders need not apply.

          • Drake – Can’t agree with “Must have training in forestry, animal husbandry or mining and mineral exploration.” Education is too often provided by leftists these days. Instead, “Must have minimum 10 years experience in forestry, animal husbandry or mining and mineral exploration.” This is not perfect, either, as (at least here in Nevada) too many failures in the trades moved to jobs as county inspectors, where they strive to be a thorn in the side of successful tradesmen. The inspectors make up their own rules. Yes, they can be thwarted with legal help – but that costs time and money.

      • I’d vote for Lenexa, Kansas. Convenient to Shawnee Mission and Olathe, and not really all that far from the greater Kansas City metroplex.

        There are a few more bureaucracies that could also be relocated to the heartland.

        Come to think of it, now would be a great opportunity to trim govt employees. Word of impending govt layoffs would get the entire swamp on the side of getting the quarantine lifted.

        • Whenever a bureaucracy is located in a city, they need to be moved to rural areas. Otherwise, they believe they understand the areas they rule over when in fact they don’t. Or maybe they just want to destroy rural life, as they believe all rural areas should be zoned as parks for city folk.

    • The “true colors” are that far too many bureaucrats today believe they are part of the Washington DC Bureaucratic Hegemony that basically rules the American people today. You thought we are governed by elected officials in the House, Senate, and Presidency? Sorry, it’s just not so.

      If they live in Wash DC they are part of the Hegemony. If they leave then they lose their place in the Hegemony. Pete forbid that should happen!

    • Great idea in general. Move “HUD” headquarters to Detroit, move the “Administration for Native Americans” headquarters to Window Rock, Arizona – headquarters of the largest native American tribe- the Navajo, etc,

      It will certainly help weed out the bureaucratic wheat from the chaff,

      • Absolutely agree. Part of the problem with the Federal government is that it is affected by the government culture in DC and out of touch with the people. Move the Department of Agriculture to Iowa or Nebraska, move the Interior Department to Wyoming or Montana, move the Department of Commerce to New York City or to Chicago, move NASA to Krypton, etc. They would be more responsive to the people they are supposed to serve if they weren’t located in elitist DC.

        • We have the same problem here in Australia. Our political centre is Canberra, we call it the Canberra bubble. They have no clue as to what it’s like to live in different parts of Australia, yet they get to make policies that affect ‘our’ lives. Sounds like a good move by your president.

  2. OT:

    https://climateofficers.org/online-prep?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4oyl4eHZ6AIVjGXBCh0yqABhEAEYASAAEgIxAvD_BwE

    ACCO is offering a new program enabling participants to leverage live online training (supplemented by on-demand study resources) in a cohort learning environment with peers around the world to learn together and prepare for exams to earn the Certified Climate Change Professional® (CC-P®) credential.
    Our live online training programs are led by instructors with recognized expertise and substantial experience in their respective subject areas. The curriculum, based upon the Core Competencies for Climate Change Officers & Professionals, is designed to prepare you to pass the CC-P® exams.
    Our online platform and content incorporates pragmatic and real-life scenarios, a collaborative environment with peer practitioners and resources to facilitate your professional development.

    Wow! What an opportunity to be brainwashed…

  3. Do they not realize they can buy mansion homes on acreage in Grand Junction for the price of a small apartment in DC?

    • Wonder what they know in regards to the land beneath the Denver Intl. Airport. Maybe it’s something they don’t want to be near?

    • But it is smelly and dirty and the people talk funny and wave at you with their index finger while driving. No wonder they don’t want a change of venue /s

      • And people expect others to wear hats and clothing apropos for the environment and occasion.

        A lot of those DC emigres will suffer sun stroke multiple times before they finally condescend to wear Western style chapeaus.

        Mormon cricket seasons will be a hoot!

    • Don’t stop at Colorado or just move the BLM. Disburse the beaureacrats.

      In this new era of remote work, it makes sense now more than ever. If this virus is as deadly as believed (and it’s not, IMO) having an agency’s workforce concentrated in a single metro area leaves us vulnerable to outbreaks in the DC area.

      • Jeffery P: “[…] having an agency’s workforce concentrated in a single metro area leaves us vulnerable to outbreaks […]”

        Yay! You’ve found the silver lining in this dark cloud. Great thinking.

        Break up the D.C. bureaucracies and ship them out to the hinterlands among the Americans they allegedly serve… and out of toadying range of the political masters they serve.

        How can they refuse something that could save their life?

    • You just can’t find the quantity or quality of hookers and booze out there in the boonies, doncha know?

  4. There are a surfeit of intelligent citizens capable of doing good work for the BLM. The hubris of self-important people is not a marketable job skill.

  5. Having watched the bureaucratic mind in action on youtube in “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister”(snippets of which are free and highly recommended) I can see why bureaucrats don’t want to move: it affects their golden parachutes from falling into piles of cash after they retire from “public” service.

  6. It would be criminal to lose people with demonstrated expertise and replace them with idiot no-clue politicians.

    So these career civil servants should step up and tell us exactly what irreplaceable expertise they possess, that nobody else possesses.

    Spending a career learning how to do the wrong stuff just makes you really good at doing the wrong stuff.

  7. When your job moves, either you move or you lose your job. It’s as simple as that.
    Why do these bureaucrats think they are better than private sector employees?
    No move – no job!

    • Only the deplorable need to move, truckers, energy workers, etc, etc…but not those living on other peoples taxes and sanctioned under the various D&I programs. After all, they have personal lives didn’t you know? They be important folks.

  8. Next move the Energy Department to the Midland/Odessa, Texas area, the Department of the Interior to Billings, Montana, Department of Homeland Security to El Paso, Texas, and the Department of Agriculture to Wichita, Kansas.

    • Great Idea!,Bravo!
      I have said getting the BLM Ovehead to the areas wher ethey actually have to interact with Ranchers, Farmers, Logger, and -Firefighters might be a real learning experience. Having a
      group of dirty sooty, fire retardant spotted Hot shots showing up in the Lobby with impermanent,uppity questions -like “where IS our air support?” Or, “why won’t you let US do
      Our job?” and leave black hand prints on the restroom walls..
      I’d pay to see video of that being an old. Aerial Firefighter..

    • At least their children would get more of a real education. I don’t think the totalitarians have made as big an inroad into ‘education’ in those places.

    • Better yet, have the feds divest all of the land in the west that they hold. Good for the debt, good for growth, pisses off the watermelons, and bad for tyranny. Win-Win-Win-Win.

      The agency can issues all the directives it wants on the 100 acres it is allowed to retain. Oh, and I said divest, not designate more national parks.

    • I might choose different places, but the principle is correct. The only ‘crats left in DC should be those who work at Defense, Justice, Treasury and State.

    • That’s what I was thinking and I live in La Jolla. I could be sentenced to life in Grand Junction CO.

    • Powderhorn is only about 45 minutes away.

      Anyway, you should see the snow in the Colorado Rockies. It would have been one of the best seasons ever. We have more coming in this weekend.

      • It is here in southern Utah now. It rained for a couple of hours until about midnight then turned to snow, we got 3 inches by the morning. It has snowed off and on this morning. It looks mostly done now, 9:00 mountain time. We are at 8600 feet.

        We were seeing a lot of melt the last week. All is white this morning but the new snow will be gone in a few days.

  9. I live in Grand Junction for most of the year. What a great place to live. Powerhorn is just a short drive to the east, the Monument a short drive to the west, wineries between GJ and Palisade, hunting, fishing, excellent health care facilities and a vibrant four year university.

    I would think that the biggest barrier to moving would be knowing that you would have to put up with so many Bronco fans. We can be a bit obnoxious.

    No black tie parties though. You will find most people gathering together with a beer or a glass of wine in their hands and wearing a CMU Maverick T-shirt or Bronco sweatshirt; and having a good time.

    But if the BLM personnel moved to Grand Junction they would get first hand knowledge of oil and gas operations, coal mining, ranching, farming, outdoor recreation and just about anything else the BLM has decision making over.

    Sounds like a good decision to have the BLM head office in Grand Junction.

      • I, too live in GJ most of the time. It is a great place to live, work and recreate. We will be glad to teach these rubes how we do out here in the West. Soon they’ll wonder why they ever wanted to live in a sh!thole like DC.

  10. Good move. By hook or by crook the swamp is slowly being drained. Hopefully come November Trump will get another 4 years to complete his mission. No wonder the Marxist/Socialist cabal is so scared of him. I wish he were doing more to dismantle the CC narrative but can see why that’s not high on his agenda ….. because it’s not high on the people’s agenda.

  11. Good bye and good riddance. What a triumph for Trump!

    As a life-long rural westerner and environmental professional (forester) I have advocated since 1985 for the relocation of all five Fed land owning agencies (BLM, USFS, NPS, USFWS, BIA) away from DC and into the West where all their lands lie.

    We residents of the West live with and suffer all the mismanagement, and the effects thereof, directly in our watersheds and communities. Our remote bureaucracies headquartered 3,000 miles away are haughty and aloof at best and downright evil authoritarian at worst.

    Countless times I’ve had to deal with functionaries across the continent who have never seen the lands they control, will never see them, are clueless about those lands, have no idea of the damage they inflict on those lands and our communities, and frankly couldn’t tell a fir tree from a pine tree.

    Make them live where we can relate to them, and them to us, in the vernacular face to face in place. I want to drag their sorry selves into the woods to show them the consequences of their stupidity. Put them where I can get at them. Thank you Mr. President!

  12. Isn’t there a famous beer/liquor store in Grand Junction that gets a secret supply of a certain beer of stupendous cult fame, Pliny the Elder/Younger, which is otherwise near impossible to find for sale? Rumor has it they save it for “best customers,” however, and can be rude about selling their precious hoard.

    https://russianriverbrewing.com/

    That alone should be enough to tempt anyone to move there.

  13. Oh nooos! What will we do without so many “career bureaucrats with years of expertise”?!

    Be more efficient. That’s what we’ll do. See yuh!

  14. My dad worked for the USGS (headquarters in Wash. DC) for 30+ years; he always them the “Great White Fathers”, a term that originated with the Cheyenne, if I am not mistaken.

    • To clarify, there might be a few black tie events but they would be black bolo ties and the participants would probably be wearing jeans and plaid shirts.

  15. I am sure that someone with their qualifications would have no trouble finding a top-flight job in either the food service or housekeeping industries.

  16. Not exactly my skill set, but I probably could fit in somewhere and contribute.

    I would take a rock-solid golden-handcuffs Fed BLM job in Grand Junction a minute.

  17. Good idea to move BLM to Grand Junction for the reasons discussed above. If you don’t like Grand Junction, you are not a good fit for the BLM.

    Reminds me of a song by Smythe and Taylor called, “You Can’t Be a Whimp and Live in Texas”. Very entertaining lyrics.

    Long ago, I attended a dinner party for which the invitations said that the evening attire will be “black tie cowboy”. Very nice evening.

  18. The half who refuse to move to Colorado should be REQUIRED to move to Alaska, just N of Fairbanks. Lovely weather and there is an AWFUL lot of federal land up there to manage. If they refuse to move (or transfer to any OTHER bureaucratic position in/near DC) they should lose ALL points toward a federal pension – ie start over.
    Fair or not?

    • nw sage,
      it’s pretty simple. The job is in Colorado.
      Don’t want to work in Colorado ? No problem, no job.

      • That is really not how the feds work. Many will retire, they were just building up points. Others will transfer to job openings in other agencies in DC then retire when they get the points they need. With the numbers of fed employees in DC, there are always openings.

        The net wave after the reelection of TRUMP! will be to move all agencies to locals they regulate and then the real hurting will start. Then the ” downsizing”of all remaining agencies.

        Side note: Harry Reid used the Nuclear Option to pack the DC circuit before he left office. He knew the DIRTY that was being done by the left and all of it would of necessity go through the DC circuit. He put the activist leftist judges in place to block the investigations of government actions under the Obama administration. Trump and McConnell are shifting the balance in the courts all over the country. In the next 4 years there will be hell to pay for the leftists in DC.

  19. I’ve lived and worked in both Colorado and Washington, D.C.

    You’d have to be crazy to prefer the D.C. area to Colorado.

    Hey, maybe that explains a lot about our bureaucracy and bureaucrats? I think being in and around D.C. for too long may make you crazy, if you aren’t already.

  20. The problem with this approach is that the agents will be away from D.C., where Congress can’t be close by to keep a tight leash on their spending.
    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, that hurt.
    The real problem is that after initial success, eventually dems will retake control of things, and decide to open new headquarters in DC, filled with bright eyed young progs ready to save the world. They would keep the “field office”, too, for awhile, until the young progs figured out that they could replace the GJ folks with new generation of young progs in a new field office in Northern VA.
    Now, that’s not funny.

  21. I know this has been posted before, but moving the U.N. HQ to where it would do most good must be on the horizon also.
    Zimbabwe, South Africa, Somalia. All of these places would benefit greatly from the largesse and knowledge that the bureaucrats could bestow upon the people and the organisation in general would benefit from the feedback of these nations. The U.N. has created the environment that has made these nations what they are today.
    Its a win-win situation!

  22. Move with the job or lose their federal pension amd benefits. End of story. They go where they are told not where they dictate. That’s part of “serving”.

  23. Move ’em. People don’t want to go, they can find new jobs. Then don’t fill the empty seats, cut back the department. Great way to reduce the size of bureaucracy.

    They need to start combining all these departments and agencies that overlap in function – you do not need a dozen agencies assisting with food stamps and well fare. Move those out of Washington D.C. as well.

    I don’t think there is any saving some of the larger agencies from all the liberal and social justice harm they have taken. Just delete these agencies and start over with carefully written policy statement that will keep such agencies laser aimed at their purpose for existing (thinking EPA, NASA, NOAA…). Make it illegal to even consider a person’s sex, race or religion when hiring – only their accomplishments and resume as pertaining to the job they are hired to do. No quotas. No “diversity goals”. Just good old competent workers who enjoy their jobs.

  24. Why not just pay them not to show up for work…it is when they show up for work is when they do all their damage to everything. However, when you figure out how many hours they actually do work in their 35 hour week, after subtracting their paid holidays, sick time, stat holidays, indexed pension cost, medical, dental etc and coffee breaks, they only actually work about 2.5 hours a day, if that. What did I forget? Amazing they can do that much damage in less than 3 hours per day!

  25. No problem! Send in the US Marshals and forcibly move them there, and seize all their records and computers for thorough investigation prior to prosecutions. Win/Win!

  26. Well, I’m a Canadian so it wouldn’t be polite to say anything negative about either place, but Washington is great for a tourist or if you’re lucky enough to live in the leafy suburbs. I’ve never actually been to GR. Junction but I thought that Colorado Springs was one of the nicest looking towns I’ve ever driven through and Grand Junction is Grand, so really, what’s not to like?
    We did this in my home province about 30 years ago. Moved a bunch of provincial offices out to rural areas. What with phones and email and teleconferencing and such it is pretty simple. But for people who can’t lower their noses to see what they’re stepping in it could be a problem.

  27. “….says Ray Brady, a retired senior manager and minerals specialist who worked in the Washington headquarters for 23 years. “We view it as a dismantling of the organization and turning major decisions on public lands over to political people who have agendas.” ”

    As if these people don’t have their own agendas and biases.

  28. Let them face the people they are abusing, not be anonymous and Inaccessible or is it unaccessible!

    I enjoyed living in both DC and Colorado. DC has museums civil war battlefields and monuments and Arlington. Colorado is bigger.

  29. Well I can guess why some of them wouldn’t move.
    First reason – and most charitable. They are married and their spouse doesn’t want to move/find new job.
    Second reason – there is a cost of living bonus for working in the greater DC area that all the GS workers get. It makes it so that they are some of the highest paid labor in the area. Given how crowded things are and how cities use economics to ration space, paying people more who work in dense areas makes sense. You can’t hire them any other way. This said, taking over a 25% pay cut to move from DC to Colorado. Well that won’t sit well with most people.
    BTW, you will find a cost of living adjustment in just about everyones wage who lives in a high cost of living area. Some are greater than others, depending on location, job, employer, etc. And while I’ve defended the diea of the area adjustement, I GREATLY favor these people being moved out of the DC area into more central areas. Next, let us move the FBI out to say Kansas City, The Pentagon to perhaps Oklahoma. etc etc. This woudl people the workers closer to the people they are working with/for and it would reduce the labor force in DC and thus the needed cost of living adjustment.

    • I don’t care if they want to move, President assigns the agency new quarters and they move. Or they quit. Quitting is the goal, drive all the thieving scumbags out on the streets, they won’t be able to compete there.

  30. We here in Colorado have no problem with sifting out the people who don’t want to move. That totally works.

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