Over half the Bureau of Land Management staff quit after Trump orders 'go west, young people'
More than half of the Bureau of Land Management’s Washington, D.C. staff quit their jobs after being told they would be transferred to Colorado and other western states to be closer to the lands they manage.
New internal numbers from the Interior Department obtained by ACV Reports show 69 employees have left the agency rather than accept the new assignment. Another 18 left after the plans were announced but before they could be reassigned. Those 87 employees outnumber the 80 who have agreed to the move.
The BLM move would uproot nearly all of the agency’s dwindling Washington staff out West, leaving just 61 of 10,000 employees in the nation’s capital.
The move is part of a Trump administration initiative to place regulatory agencies closer to the people they are supposed to serve. Most of America’s federal lands are in the western mountains and deserts.
When the administration announced the Department of Agriculture would undergo a similar move to Kansas City, Missouri to at the center of the agribusiness industry, a similar spate of resignations resulted.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have objected to Trump Administration orders to move Agriculture to Kansas City and the BLM to various western states. (Photo: Kansas City Star)
Democrat leadership have howled over both moves, publicly lamenting regulatory positions will be less likely to be filled by professional D.C. bureaucrats and more likely to be filled by people with direct ties to those affected by regulations.
Former top-level BLM employee Steve Ellis complained of the agency’s move, saying it “removes BLM from the sphere of direct influence in the nation’s capital and critically weakens the agency’s ability for career leadership and their staff to collaborate across disciplines and work closely with other key agencies.”
“It will weaken the agency by marginalizing leadership in a relatively small western community,” he added, overlooking the fact those are exactly who know best about federal lands.
“The Trump administration is destroying the Bureau of Land Management by mistreating its staff and politicizing its mission and then lying to Congress and the public about the damage it’s causing.
"This is what happens when you put fossil fuel industry lobbyists and anti-public lands extremists in charge of government agencies,” complained House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva, an avowed “ecosocialist” and advocate for total D.C. control of western lands.