Colorado’s Morning News, Cory Gardner, August 21, 2018

Station:    KOA, 850 am

Show:       Colorado’s Morning News

Guests:    Gardner, Cory


Date:        August 21, 2018


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CO-HOST MARTY LENZ: [00:00:02] There is a new push in the nation’s capital to bring the Bureau of Land Management closer to the land it oversees. Grand Junction [is] on the list of possible landing sites, and it could mean more than 44 million dollars in economic incentives and boosts. Senator Cory Gardner [is] helping lead that effort. He joins us now. Good morning, Senator.

U.S. SENATOR FROM COLORADO, CORY GARDNER: [00:00:18] Good morning, Marty.

LENZ: [00:00:18] So, of all the places in Colorado — and I’m curious, I think it’s beautiful area — why Grand Junction?

GARDNER: [00:00:22] You know, Grand Junction really is perfect for the headquarters of BLM, for many reasons. Number one, it’s a great public lands county. A majority of the acreage in Mesa County is actually public land, surrounded by BLM lands. It’s close to Utah close, to Wyoming — relatively speaking. You’ve got great interstate access. You’ve got a great airport there. And so, to have a BLM headquarters surrounded by the land that they manage, surrounded by states that have [a] heavy BLM presence — and you’ve got great transportation, in and out — it just makes sense.

CO-HOST APRIL ZESBAUGH: [00:00:51] We mentioned the economic impact for Grand Junction, but what about the reaction from the Interior Department?

GARDNER: [00:00:57] The reaction from the Interior Department has been very supportive. Toward the end of the Obama administration, when I brought it up, they kind of thought, “OK, we’ll take a look at it.” But they didn’t have enough time to get into it. The present Trump administration, through secretaries Zinke, has really taken this and run with it. They’re very supportive of the idea. In fact, the Assistant Secretary and the Secretary of Interior have both said this will happen. Now they’re just in the process of determining how it’s going to move forward.

LENZ: [00:01:23] Senator, moving it out of [Washington] D.C., will it affect efficiencies is all [sic], communication, and what the BLM does?

GARDNER: [00:01:31] I don’t believe so. I mean, we live in a modern day world. We have internet access, 24 hours instant access. Many people complain that we have too much access. So, I think what this will allow is those people who are interested in energy development, those people who are interested in recreation and protection of the environment and conservation, those people who are interested in agriculture [and] grazing, they’re going to be able to reach out to BLM headquarters in their own backyard instead of having to travel several thousand miles just to go see somebody who’s responsible.

ZESBAUGH: [00:01:57] What’s the timeline for the change?

GARDNER: [00:01:59] You know, I hope that in the next six to eight weeks we are going to hear more how they plan to roll this out. I’ve introduced legislation with Scott Tipton to make the move official. The administration is moving forward on their own, on a separate path that I support, to move the plan. So, I hope in the next couple of months we’ll have an idea of when and how they’re going to do it.

LENZ: [00:02:16] Senator, one quick last question: if not Grand Junction, [could it be relocated] somewhere else in Colorado?

GARDNER: [00:02:20] You know, I think anywhere in Colorado would be great. I do think Grand Junction is ideal, for many reasons. But I know a number of communities have expressed an interest in doing this. I just think that we’ll have better land management decisions when those land managers are living amongst the land and the people that they are managing.

ZESBAUGH: [00:02:37] All right. Senator Cory Gardner, thanks for the few minutes. We appreciate it.

GARDNER: [00:02:40] Thank you