Mesa County, Colo. – Coming off of Secretary Deb Haaland’s recent visit to Grand Junction, Mesa County is fighting to keep the BLM Headquarters here. Many organizations wish they had been able to voice their concerns while the Department of Interior boss was still in Western Colorado.

While many locally-elected officials and community leaders had the opportunity to speak with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland during her visit to Grand Junction, some stake holders- like the oil and gas industry, wish it had been able to convey the importance of the BLM’s location here in Western Colorado,

“The oil and gas industry provides about 80 percent of the revenues that come from the BLM land, and so as a major stakeholder in that sense, our voice is important,” says Mesa County’s Oil and Gas Association’s Chelsie Miera.

Oil and gas in Colorado contributes 6.9 billion dollars to BLM-managed lands. That money contributes to multiple projects here on the Western Slope,

“Mesa County’s Federal Mineral Lease District will begin its Fall grant cycle on August 1st, with its funds coming from the oil and gas industry,” Says KREX5’s Reilly Spence.

These grant funds total $350,000, and will be distributed to various community projects strictly within Mesa County, such as road, downtown streetscapes, fire station, and school improvements.

The lease district says the importance of BLM leaders understanding its grant cycles and benefitting from community improvements is crucial,

“They’re part of our community now, so they’re seeing firsthand how these moneys that we’re getting, from all these leases that they negotiate and operate with come back to our community; and since they’re community members, they’re now benefitting from that money coming back directly into their community as well,” says Federal Mineral Lease District’s Dusti Reimer.

Both the oil and gas industry, and the lease district that it funds are just two of many entities hopeful that the BLM will remain out West, near the lands that it maintains,

“This is a very bipartisan effort, which we don’t see much in this day, so we’re really hopeful that we can all come together on this decision and that the secretary can make a good choice for the American public,” Continues Miera.

The future of the BLM’s Headquarters will impact many agencies outside of just oil and gas, if you would like to voice your opinion, KREX5 would like to hear from you.

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