U.S. 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 Western 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 U.S. Senate in March.
“We’re happy to host Secretary Haaland and look forward to productive conversations with Grand Junction community leaders on the future of the BLM headquarters,” Colorado’s U.S. senators, Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, said in a joint statement Tuesday.
The fate of the headquarters, which was moved from Washington, D.C., to Grand Junction in 2019, rests in the hands of Haaland and Biden. Grand Junction officials seeking to keep it in Colorado had requested that Haaland visit their city.
Haaland was critical of the headquarters move in 2019 but hasn’t said whether she intends to undo the decision and return the headquarters to Washington.
The secretary will also stop in Denver on Thursday to discuss drought response and in Ridgway on Saturday to discuss Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy, according to a Department of the Interior press release Tuesday.