Interior Secretary David Bernhardt quiet on possible new BLM headquarters in the West

Protestors gather on the Gore Creek Recreation Path to protest Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on the first day of the annual Western Governors’ Association meeting Monday, June 10, 2019, in Vail, Colo. Put on through the Sierra Club of Colorado, the protestors were trying to get Bernhardt’s attention, who is keynoting the first day of the conference. (Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily via AP)

VAIL |  Interior Secretary David Bernhardt says he is looking at every job in the Bureau of Land Management to determine if the role is essential and if it should be based in Washington, D.C.

Bernhardt said at the Western Governors’ Association conference Monday that once those questions are answered, he will decide whether to move BLM’s headquarters to a Western state, closer to the nearly 400,000 square miles (over 1 million square kilometers) the land agency manages.

The Colorado Sun reports he declined to name a preferred state, and a decision is expected by September. Bernhardt says he expects “a substantial element of BLM folks in D.C. being repositioned.”

A few dozen protesters, some wearing swamp monster masks, paraded nearby to bring attention to Bernhardt’s previous job lobbying for oil and gas interests.