BLM won't combine AZ, NM offices

Posted at 12:47 PM, Sep 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-11 15:47:29-04

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has ditched a plan to merge offices in New Mexico and Arizona as a cost-cutting measure.

The BLM was looking for ways to combine resources in the wake of declining budgets and sequestration.

The agency had said that joining the offices under a single director based in Santa Fe would save $1.2 million annually.

The BLM announced Friday that it decided against the plan after hearing feedback from the public. Critics had argued for maintaining local representation and boosting funding to the agency.

The Arizona office manages 12.2 million acres of surface land and 17.5 million subsurface acres.

The New Mexico office oversees 13.5 million surface acres and 42 million subsurface acres spanning four states, including Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.