Interior Minister David Berhard and President Trump at America's Environmental Leadership Event earlier this month. On a meeting of all staff on Tuesday, Trump's senior officials told the Land Management Bureau that most of them had to leave DC by the end of next year, in line with the plan to reorganize internal governance. Interior Minister David Bernhard planned to move 81% of the agency headquarters west of the Rocky Mountains by 2020, said his vice-presidents yesterday, according to a session actor speaking anonymously to avoid revenge. The move represents a huge change in the agency that manages more than 10% of the land of America.
The first Deputy Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals, Casey Hammond, who manages the May-based office, told his staff at the agency's 20 million office in Southeast Washington, confirming the Washington Post report on Monday that the administration will hold about 60 employees in Washington while the rest travel to the West.
[Interior to move most of Bureau of Land Management’s D.C. staff out west as part of larger reorganization push]
Hammond said that of over 300 employees transferred to the West. Seventy-four of the appointed officials will report to the BLM Chiefs of Staff instead of the headquarters, he said, according to meeting participants.
Several MEPs have already adopted the reorganization plan, including Sri Garde (R-Colo.) And Republican officials. Rob Bishop (Utah) and Scott R. Tipton (Colorado). In a statement Monday, the bishop said he would work with Bernhart to move the staff to Utah in the right place.
"BLM staff will be moved where they will have a greater impact on people living in areas where their influence is greatest," Bishop said, "not from bureaucrats of thousands of kilometers."
But critics of the plan, including Kate P. Kelley, director of the public lands of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, asked in an email why the administration would reassign almost all of DK's staff at the desk when 95% of them already work in the field
"The real impact of this move is to make ages "The constant shuffling, shrinking, and dismantling of BLM's workforce will have long-term implications for the health of the agency."
Tension in the room during the Tuesday meeting was tangible, according to the participants, as the employees were wondering what the move would mean for those with two career families or other duties that would bind them to Washington. When Hammond said, "We do not need to panic," some of the audience laughed.
Hammond and Joe Balasch, Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals, stressed that the move would save government money because the cost of living is cheaper. The West and the lease of the BLM main building in Southeast Washington had to expire. But one employee suggested at the meeting that staff salaries would also decrease as they moved, and called on colleagues to write their member of Congress, generating applause.
It is not clear what kind of permission Congress is required to implement the administration's plan. When a BLM employee raised the issue Tuesday, Hammond replied that the department had already received the $ 5 million needed to complete the initial move in May.