Skeptical U.S. House Dems plan hearing on Trump public land plan to move HQ to Grand Junction

FILE – In this July 16, 2019 file photo interior Secretary David Bernhardt listens during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. On Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, 30 retired executives from the Bureau of Land Management, which Bernhardt oversees, wrote him a letter saying that moving the bureau headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado, and dispersing managers across 11 Western states could lead to worse stewardship of public lands. The department announced the move in July, saying it would lead to better decisions and save money, but some retired federal employees dispute that. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

DENVER  |  Congressional Democrats plan to grill Trump administration officials on their plan to move the largest U.S. land-management agency’s headquarters from Washington to Colorado.

The House Natural Resources Committee scheduled a hearing in Washington Tuesday on the plan to transfer the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to Grand Junction, a city of about 63,000 people 250 miles (400 kilometers) west of Denver.

Most of the bureau’s 10,000 employees are already in field offices, and 99% of its land is in the West.

The administration wants to move the bureau director and 300 jobs to Colorado and 10 other Western states, saying it will lead to better decisions.

Committee chairman Raul M. Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, says it will make it easy for special interests to demand favors without congressional oversight.