The Bureau of Land Management announced Monday that most of their employees have agreed to relocate and move outside of Washington, D.C., to work in various parts of the country, The Hill reports.
"As of today, I'm encouraged and happy to advise you that nearly two-thirds of the 153 people who received MDR [management directed reassignment] letters have indicated they will relocate with their positions," BLM head William Pendley wrote to agency staff in an email last Friday that the Hill obtained and released Monday.
However, current and former BLM employees expressed skepticism about that figure, noting about 80% of U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service staff chose to leave rather than relocate to Kansas City, Missouri. E&E News reported earlier this month that as many as 80% of BLM staffers in the capital could leave rather than relocate to the agency's new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado, or other locations.
An unnamed former senior BLM official told E&E News: "Everyone feels abused — those who are retiring, those who have found other positions, and those who are moving West as directed. And folks are really upset about the fact that there has been little or no thought given about how to capture the institutional knowledge that is walking out the door."
They added, "There are many people who came to the BLM with the hope of effectively managing working landscapes in the American West. I am afraid that they are ready to write the agency off."
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