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BLM employees would rather quit than move to new headquarters in Colorado

BLM employees would rather quit than move to new headquarters in Colorado

Self-draining swamp

The Trump administration is moving the headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management to Grand Junction, CO. However, reports are coming in that many staffers who are being reassigned are opting to quit rather than move out West.

U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt defended the move Friday. Opponents have projected that the number of Bureau of Land Management staffers agreeing to move from headquarters could be as low as 15%, which Bernhardt said was “not consistent with what I’ve seen.”

Speaking at a Las Vegas conference on Colorado River water supplies, Bernhardt said he did not immediately have firmer figures, however.

“A year from now … you’re going to find out that it worked really well,” Bernhardt told reporters.

Critics of the move complain there is going to be a “brain drain” of experienced staffers. The relocation has become another struggle between bureaucratic policy priorities and the administration’s goals and visions.

[Bob] Moore, who worked at the BLM for 40 years and retired as its state director, has heard talk of moving the agency for decades. But talk was all it was. Until now.

At a time when there’s been an unprecedented focus on energy production from the Trump administration, he sees the moves as part of a larger agenda that worries him as areas are opened up to oil and gas leasing that were previously deemed too sensitive.

“The fewer BLM employees they have in Washington, the simpler it is for the political appointees in Washington to make those kinds of decisions,” he said.

But in Grand Junction, soon to be home to more than two dozen BLM top-level employees, many local leaders want to keep politics out of it. Robin Brown, head of Grand Junction Economic Partnership, has been part of the push to get the BLM to her town since the Obama administration.

“It’s disappointing that it’s become such a partisan issue and that it’s become a tool for each of the sides to beat each other up over, when it never started out that way,” she said.

Former and current Govs. John Hickenlooper and Jared Polis, both Democrats, support the move. But as this has gone from a pipe dream to near-reality, outside of Colorado, more and more prominent Democrats have questioned it, while more and more Republicans have championed it. When the BLM leased office space in the same building as oil and gas companies, opponents of the move cried foul. But Robin Brown thinks that misses the point.

“Because we want the BLM employees and the BLM directors and the people making land policy decisions to know our oil and gas companies,” she said.

BLM is offering impacted employees early retirement and buyouts. There look to be plenty of potential takers.

One Washington staffer told Government Executive just three of the 25 employees on their team have accepted the reassignment. Another former employee who has since left the agency for a new job but still keeps in touch with many former colleagues said they only know of two who agreed to move.

…BLM employees have told Government Executive that even some of those who have accepted their reassignments are still looking for jobs in Washington and will come back home as soon as possible. Many employees have already found new jobs and left the agency. The workers all suggested morale at the Washington office has plummeted, mistrust of leadership has grown and a sinking feeling that the Trump administration is seeking to sideline important work has set in.

The BLM staffers who are complaining about the relocation don’t seem to be getting much sympathy.


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So jobs will be open to people familiar with what the BLM does. This is a bad thing?

“ The workers all suggested morale at the Washington office has plummeted, mistrust of leadership has grown and a sinking feeling that the Trump administration is seeking to sideline important work has set in”

Sounds like it’s having the intended effect.

Let’s hope they shed lots of deadwood and anti-American / anti-progress staffers. The key is making sure that there are some actual conservative leaning forward thinking folks among the new hires.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to PrincetonAl. | December 14, 2019 at 2:29 pm


    Almost all FED agencies should be located thousands of miles away from all urban centers!

    Urban centers have enough do-nothing thugs already.


      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | December 14, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      Whining Crying Rioting – Hillary Theme Song – Dana


      Make Leftists Cry Again – 2020!!!!!!

      (It’s good for them.)

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | December 14, 2019 at 4:08 pm

        Crying, Whining & Rioting

        We’ve been uptight for awhile
        Even when you were on trial
        Then we didn’t see you last night
        You had us Millennial’s in a fright
        So you sent Podesta to tell us “GO HOME”

        Oh, you didn’t even wish us well
        Why couldn’t you tell
        That we’d be whining over you
        Rioting over you

        Then the next day you… said, “So long”
        Left us moping all alone
        Alone and whining, rioting
        Setting fires & crying

        It’s hard to understand
        How Trump won the love of this land
        It starts me whining

        We thought the we were over you
        When the FBI proved your crimes were true
        But we love you even more
        though it seems more dumb than before
        But, Hillary, what can we do?

        America chose Trump over you
        And I’ll always be crying over you
        Whining over you

        Yes, now you’re gone
        You might go to prison for so long
        And we’ll be crying… and whining and rioting
        Crying, yeah whining, yeah dying,
        Yeah crying, and whining and rioting and being a big
        Cry baby, I didn’t want to work! I wanted free college
        And I didn’t get what I wanted… Which was
        Hillary Clinton because she’s a woman,
        And you’re a sexist… and bigoted racist homophobic
        Xenophobe… and no country builds walls and fences around it border…

        That’s just stupid! ©2016 Envision Music, Inc.

      I disagree. I think they should be relocated to the worst areas of big cities.
      Imagine dept of ed in murderville St. Louis’s very worst crime neighborhood.
      Or Memphis getting dept of energy. Etc. for all the rest of the departments.
      Except State, that can be moved to bumpuck Alaska population 6 with 43 moose and twenty wolves.
      Let those bureaucrats dodge bullets on the way to and from work. Hopefully they all quit and PDJT wipes those departments off the federal payroll.

        forksdad in reply to 4fun. | December 15, 2019 at 4:51 pm

        No, they would just purge the inner-city hell hole and force them on some unsuspecting and undeserving normal neighborhood.

    “We have the right to cushy jobs in big urban areas where we can congregate with fellow lefties, get smoothies, quiche, fancy coffee, and exotic beers, and we don’t have to interact with all those deplorables. Jobs where we can be overpaid and under-worked. It’s our right. It’s right there in the Constitution.”

    2020 – “Make Them Cry Again”

The fact is, even located in the hinterlands, the employees will grow the bureaucracy.

Time to rid ourselves of the civil service act. It’s given us a coup attempt, pissy regulations (no incandescent bulbs?!), dangerous alternatives (mercury bulbs, anyone?).

Rid ourselves of it – get rid of the delusions of superiority of fed. employees.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Close The Fed. | December 14, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Hear! Hear!

    Do most people know that about zero percent of them are Constitutional – as being called for and established in the Constitution?

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Close The Fed. | December 14, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    I can buy incandescent bulbs all day long where I live.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | December 14, 2019 at 4:10 pm

      Oh my!

      Greta’s gonna screech at you.

        The only incandescents I buy are halogens. My household lighting is all LED.

        The compact fluorescent lamps that are now going off the market were for the most part horrendously bad. As for”oh my got mercury!!!”, the answer to cleaning up a broken one involved two steps: 1) sweep it up, and 2) go on with your life.

        I retired from the lighting field a few years back. In general, the ONLY compact fluorescent lamps I ever saw that were – consistently – good, were the pin-based ones for fixtures purpose-built for their operation. The screw-ins were just about all garbage.

    Actually, President Trump has removed that stupid regulation outlawing incandescent bulbs. What a disaster that such a thing ever passed, thanks Fred Upton. It remains to be seen if any company will set up a 100W tungsten bulb factory now.

      PrincetonAl in reply to rdmdawg. | December 14, 2019 at 8:45 pm

      Good. But late for all the American incandescent bulb plants that already shutdown more than a decade ago.

      When dumb regulations pass, jobs and communities are destroyed.

      And you can’t flip communities, jobs, factories and capital investment on-and-off like a light switch.

    Much of the “pissy regulations” is the handiwork of Fred Upton R-Mi.
    Incandescent bulb restrictions, low water toilets (and now very low water toilets), low water dishwashers and clothing washing machines, the automotive OBDII and more have his name on every page.

SeekingRationalThought | December 14, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Either they are public servants, in which case they will move, or they are merely careerist, in which case they will milk the packages for all they are worth. If they are the latter, we are better off without them. Having worked in the Federal Government early in my career, I’m sure that one in four of the current employees are worth their salaries. I’m sure that someone even more qualified than the best current employee would love a well-paying job in Colorado.

Government employees (I don’t use the term workers) always feel they are entitled to special privileges. Companies I have worked for moed from Cincinnati to Chicago, Dayton to Minneapolis, Dayton to Atlanta and Elkhart to Chicago. Employees had the choice of relocating or staying and finding a new employer.

Dont Contaminate Colorado

I had contended that the easiest way to rid the government of these workers – or employees – who move leftward ho … have them reassigned to middle America, small town life would help weed out plenty of the rift raft.
When you have employees who you can’t get rid of without a massive paper trail, move them to undesired locations. Posts outside DC or other population centers would do the job well.
The FBI did this all the time with agents they didn’t want to keep around. From NYC or DC to Alaska was the death knell for their careers, and most left rather than move. Some will go, but those aren’t usually the worst offenders anyway.

    alaskabob in reply to oldgoat36. | December 14, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    We did have an FBI agent forget their back-up piece and we easily detected it when the agent’s leg became solidly affixed to the inside of the bore of the MRI scanner. Fortunately, we didn’t have to ramp down the magnet to get the agent and piece out of the magnet… no harm … no foul.

    the great kazoo in reply to oldgoat36. | December 14, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Judging by what we’ve learned about the dc swamp, it’s probably the honest ones who got shipped out to flyover country.

    If we can ever get rid of the douchebags in the dc swamp, those exiles should be considered to replace them (but, non-swamp outsiders would be better)

    The Washington swamp needs an enema to get rid of those turds.

    Followed by a complete change of management, a total rewrite of bureaucratic culture, massive new oversight, and a very short leash.

    Maybe even make them carry the bullet in their pocket….

Actually, this move makes sense. It’s like moving the other BLM to Chicago, since that’s where much of the Black on Black gun violence is located.

Why are they offering early retirement and buyouts to quitters?

Move their jobs and let them quit.

    Close The Fed in reply to healthguyfsu. | December 14, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Really, Health Guy…. Why do they take my tax dollars just because they don’t want the job anymore.

    How special they think they are.

    Congress, why did you set up this extravagance, that ordinary people don’t get?

    The same laws the Feds used to beat the schiff out of corporations trying to move, apply to the Federal agencies (not Congress or the Courts) by statute.

Oh, and let’s not forget my fave cultural baloney: CAFE.


They all look IDENTICAL because they are all SLAVES to the mpg fleet requirements.



No more beautiful Jaguar XJSs, Alpha Romeo Spiders…..

I DESPISE you pieces of excrement that foiled that BLANDNESS on us. HOW DARE YOU.

Remind these good people that the Centers for Disease Control is in Atlanta, NASA is in Houston, the Tornado Service is in Oklahoma City, etc., without harm to their respective agencies.

I can think of a number of federal agencies that should be located outside the DC area just so to provide better service to their constituents. The Forestry Service could be in North Carolina or Utah. HUD could be relocated to Gary, Indiana. Wildlife Service? Definitely Wyoming. Fisheries Service? Alaska. National Institutes of Health goes to Boston.

And the IRS could move to Johnston Island in the Pacific 🙂

The Friendly Grizzly | December 14, 2019 at 2:54 pm

I say: if we can’t get rid of agencies, move them to new locations. The best locations will be places like Grand Junction, Duluth, Gallup, Needles, or Kingman.

If nothing else, this drive unemployment in the DC area through the roof, which would please me greatly.

I guess they’d rather not be in Colorado.
John Denver, call your office.

A self-streamlining government department. What’s not to like?

BLM is offering impacted employees early retirement and buyouts

How many industries give cushy buyouts to employees who don’t like company policy? In the real world they can quit, or they can wait to be fired.

It makes nothing but sense for the BLM to be located out where the land is. The whimpy DC employees are plain outta luck.

Lucifer Morningstar | December 14, 2019 at 3:42 pm

Pendley added that 30 employees who already rejected the reassignments found new jobs elsewhere within Interior. He stressed that BLM is making significant efforts to accommodate those poised to lose their jobs, such as notifying them of openings at the department five days before they go public.

And there’s the kicker for these people that refuse to move. The BLM is bending over backwards to accommodate those people who have refused to move with other jobs.

Well, fuck ’em I say. If they refuse then they should lose their jobs.

I don’t think there is such a thing as “brain drain” when it comes to BLM.

    puhiawa in reply to NotCoach. | December 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    Wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind.

    Aren’t these the same guys who hold, in trust, the various Native American mineral rights, but have no idea how much they have? Or should have? Or any specifics (and tell the Federal Judge in a lawsuit to get that information to F themselves they are not telling Schiff)
    Ahh, those “guys”.
    No I do not feel sorry at all for them.

I don’t blame them for quitting. Moving to Colorado is just not a very palatable proposition. To each as they prefer, if I never see Colorado again it will just fine.

    TrickyRicky in reply to NotKennedy. | December 15, 2019 at 11:31 am

    If only the plethora of assholes that have moved here in the last few years had your opinion of my home state, we wouldn’t be circling the drain the way we are in the Centennial State. Don’t feel any compulsion to come back for a visit.

Should have moved it to Alaska or Idaho. That would have shrunk the department down to about 25-30 people.

It’s hard when your employer uproots your whole life. I have sympathy for people who don’t want to make the move.

But not so much sympathy I would say that this is a bad thing. Getting some fresh, non-swamp, thinking into the place would be great for almost all agencies.

Hey! Maybe the FBI should be the next one to be moved out of Washington!

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to irv. | December 14, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    The Chinese government has been claiming that all their Uighur prisoners have “graduated” from their concentration camps in Xinjiang Province. That means they would have plenty of room for any surplus FBI personnel. Although it might take a longer term and stricter methods to make them fit for human company.

    Subotai Bahadur

What a shame. Maybe we can move the Department of Education to Mississippi, the Department of Energy to West Virginia, The Department of Agriculture to Nebraska and the Department of Justice to Chicago or New Orleans. This is a wonderful start.

    BlueCat49 in reply to puhiawa. | December 15, 2019 at 11:51 am

    You had me until the end. I understand the “logic” but I’d suggest moving the agencies to places that would have people that would promote the values needed for the agencies to be effective. Justice should be moved to a DEEP Red county NOT in Texas.

    Demonized in reply to puhiawa. | December 15, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    I live in rural Kansas. USDA has offices in every county. They employ local people. Their major task is making sure ag subsidy programs get fully subscribed each budget year. So they can get larger budget authority for the next year.

    Nobody would miss them much if those offices weren’t here.

One agency that urgently needs to be moved out west is the Bureau of Indian Affairs. They sit in Washington and make decisions that have very substantial effects on the lives of Indians that most of them have never seen.

    No. That agency shouldn’t even exist. It makes people who are, in fact, U.S. citizens into third class citizens. Serfs. It’s demeaning.

    Do away with it.

Give them an option to remain in DC – if they work as janitors.

I do have a little sympathy for these gov employees. After all the ones who are not willing to move out of D.C. likely are mid career with kids to uproot and a spouse employed in another agency, law firm, think tank or lobbying outfit. They had it all and now…not so much.

Sympathy now expended. Military personnel move to some less than desirable locations in CONUS much less an operational or combat deployment.

I can recall meeting Individual Reservists in theatre that were called up due to their civilian skill set/ education/ experience. Called up due to lack of numbers from Federal Agencies willing to be deployed to perform those functions.

Upon reflection I don’t have any sympathy at all. Ruck up bureaucrats!

Moving the BLM to Grand Junction sure makes a lot more sense than Senator Robert Byrd trying to move the CIA to West Virginia (he moved about half of it)

the great kazoo | December 14, 2019 at 7:19 pm

Great idea!

ALL of the bureaucracies should be scattered among the various states.
The farther away from each other the better.

That way they can’t plot coups on the swamprat cocktail circuit during those 3hour 8 martini lunches.

Send them all to flyover country so they can finally meet who they really work for.

And if most of them quit?
Theres way too many bureaucrats anyway. That’ll save all the trouble of having to fire them.

That’s another law that should be changed.
It should be just as easy to fire a bureaucrat as it is to fire someone in the public sector.

It should be twice as easy to fire them if they’re an America hating leftist.

Fools. I jumped at the chance to be transferred from DC to Fort Collins, CO in 1984. Grand Junction would have been even better. Nicer climate. Much nicer people. Gorgeous scenery. What’s not to like?

YAY! o/
Just a double handful more agencies to go…….

    I’d rather see the elimination of agencies…or at least a 40% reduction in personnel to end the overlap of responsibilities across agencies.

Moving to Grand Junction CO is a good step, but I’d have much preferred Death Valley. Without air conditioning.

Subotai Bahadur | December 14, 2019 at 9:18 pm

1) As a Coloradan I have to note that most BLM bureaucrats have never seen mountains or open, wild land. They would die of fright if approached by a deer, a bear, or a rancher.

2) Along that line, them leaving DC would NOT be a brain drain.

Subotai Bahadur

I don’t think this is all that great. BLM is spending millions enriching the employees that wanted out, while there are plenty of progressives in Colorado to replace them.

    BlueCat49 in reply to randian. | December 15, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Hmm, I’m replying to randian. Did this go in the right place?

    I hadn’t thought about the political leanings of the people in the cities where they are moving the bureaucratic headquarters.

    HUD in Detroit? Can you spell incompetence and corruption? (apparently I can without the help of Grammarly spellchecking)

    artichoke in reply to randian. | December 16, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Isn’t Grand Junction a little saner than Denver would have been?

Fire anyone who doesn’t wish to move. They can learn what it’s like to actually work for a living instead of sucking off Uncle Sugar’s hind tit for a change.

The drains on brains are mainly on the plains.

Why do we care that Black Lives Matter (BLM) doesn’t want to relocate to Colorado?

I’m not seeing a down side. More jobs for locals in the new location, the swamp is drained a little more and a HQ is moved closer to where its effects are felt most.

Another idea would be to cede all the residential areas of Washington, D.C. to the surrounding states (White House excluded) and leave only government office buildings in the district. Delete the “city structure” and let the Executive Branch oversee the government buildings. I’m pretty sure the HVAC systems will fail in short order and D.C. would be so miserable that bureaucrats wouldn’t want to work there and elected employees would only want to be in session during good weather. This could be refined.

Or, move D.C. to the middle of nowhere without cell or internet. That might slow up the destruction of the nation by regulation.

Would they please stop doing all their “important work” so we can be free of them?