US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland will visit Grand Junction this week as she and President Joe Biden’s administration weigh whether to keep the Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters in that West Slope city.
The secretary, a former Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico, became the first Native American to hold the position when she was confirmed by the US Senate in March.
“We are delighted to host Secretary Haaland and look forward to productive conversations with Grand Junction community leaders on the future of BLM Headquarters,” U.S. Senators from Colorado, Michael Bennett and John Hickenlooper said in a joint statement Tuesday.
The fate of the headquarters, which was moved from Washington, DC to Grand Junction in 2019, is in the hands of Haaland and Biden. Grand Junction officials kept it in Colorado to request that Holland visit their town.
Haaland was critical of the move to headquarters in 2019, but did not say whether he intended to undo the decision and return headquarters to Washington.
According to a press release from the Interior Department, the secretary will stop in Denver on Thursday to discuss the response to the drought and on Saturday at Ridgeway to discuss Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy.