News & Politics

Biden Reverses Another Trump Policy: Bureau of Land Management Headquarters to Return to the Swamp

(AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Going back to the turn of the 20th century, progressives advocated moving some administrative functions of the federal government away from Washington, D.C. Even then, they saw what the concentration of power meant for freedom and liberty.

Today, there is even less reason for every federal department to be headquartered in one place. Modern communications have made the concept of centralized government obsolete. In truth, since the invention of the telephone, the city of Washington as a hub of the federal government has become a dinosaur.

Donald Trump decided to move the Bureau of Land Management out of Washington to someplace closer to where the BLM’s mandate would be better utilized. There isn’t much federal land to manage east of the Mississippi River, so Trump moved the bureau’s headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado. Naturally, that caused a stink. Headquarters staff didn’t want to move from their prestigious postings in Washington to the boonies. There’s nothing exciting happening in Grand Junction — just breathtaking natural beauty.

Then there’s the Biden administration mania for undoing everything Donald Trump did while he was in office. Combined with pushback from federal workers and their Democratic allies, Biden has decided to move BLM headquarters back to Washington.

Washington Post:

During the staff call, Haaland said her “primary concern has always been for your well being and to restore the effectiveness of the BLM’s operations.”

“I know the past few years have been difficult for many of you. The relocation of the BLM headquarters scattered employees and programs across the West, driven others out of the agency, and put enormous stress on those who remained,” Haaland said, according to the call heard by The Washington Post.

Did you know that the purpose of BLM was to reduce the stress of employees? This apparently takes precedence over the BLM actually, you know, doing its work of managing public lands.

Is that better done from Washington, D.C., or out in the great empty spaces of America where there are millions of acres of public lands for the Bureau of Land Management to, like, you know — manage?

Haaland and other BLM leaders have been surveying employees about the headquarters move to Grand Junction, which was completed last year at the end of the Trump administration. The move led to widespread stress and frustration among headquarters staff in Washington, who were given a deadline of last summer to move to rural Colorado or other Western cities, or lose their jobs, despite the pandemic.

Of the 328 positions that were slated to move out of Washington, 287 employees either retired or quit for other jobs, Haaland noted during a visit to Grand Junction in July. Just three people ultimately ended up relocating to Grand Junction, she told reporters at the time, and the headquarters ended up with more than 80 vacancies.

We had no idea that federal employees — or anyone else, anywhere — were entitled to these jobs. That these entitled cretins were allowed to get away with this blackmail is absurd.

It’s not like the BLM moved its headquarters in the middle of the night with no warning and gave employees an ultimatum to move it or lose it. BLM headquarters employees were informed of the move in July of 2019. Management gave employees more than ample time to move or to find other employment. That they didn’t say more about entitled federal employees than any deficiencies in the way the move was handled.