Following an online meeting on Monday to discuss efforts to try and keep the Bureau of Land Management in Grand Junction, U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo reached out to secretary of the interior nominee Deb Haaland on Tuesday.
Hickenlooper, who is a member of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which oversees confirmation of the next secretary of the interior, met with Haaland to discuss a number of topics, including growing the outdoor recreation economy, protecting and conserving natural resources, ensuring outdoor spaces are accessible for all and working in a bipartisan way to get things done, a news release from Hickenlooper’s office said.
During the online discussion, Hickenlooper also addressed the BLM issue, emphasizing the importance of keeping the headquarters in Grand Junction.
The senator also invited Haaland to visit the Grand Junction area to see and hear from the community first-hand.
“(New Mexico congresswoman Haaland) shares Colorado’s love for the outdoors, a commitment to bipartisanship, and a desire to expand access to our public lands and boost our outdoor recreation economy,” Hickenlooper said following the meeting. “Given these shared values, I made the case that, done correctly, we can better protect and manage our public lands by having a BLM headquarters out West. I look forward to working with her when she’s confirmed as interior secretary to make this a reality.”
Monday’s discussion, organized by Robin Brown, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, involved Hickenlooper, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Silt; and Gov. Jared Polis and other local officials.
Hickenlooper and Bennet have made the case to President Biden that “a full (BLM) headquarters in Colorado would not only grow the western Colorado economy, but also send an important signal that rural America is an appropriate place for such a prestigious institution.” the release said.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on Haaland’s nomination in the coming weeks.