Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jeb Bush would move Interior Department headquarters to somewhere in the West

Jeb Bush said Wednesday that he would rein in regulation at the Interior Department as president and try to move its headquarters from Washington, D.C., to the West, home to 90 percent of federally owned land. "There is a tradition of having a secretary from the West," the former Florida governor said at a discussion organized by his presidential campaign. "But the folks that actually do the work ... all live in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and I think they ought to be living out amongst us." The proposal was part of Bush's land and resource management plan, which is aimed at building consensus between federal, state and local governments. Bush didn't say in his speech where he would locate the headquarters, although an outline suggested his proposed agency would do a better job of keeping in touch with the people it serves if it was based in a place like Denver, Salt Lake City or Reno. Bush says federal land management under President Barack Obama has been characterized by restrictive regulations, more land use constraints and more land acquisition by the government. "This relentless overregulation has undermined the trust between western communities and the federal government," he said. Bush said his plan would steer money currently used to make new federal land acquisitions, designate new national monuments and wilderness toward a $11.5 billion backlog in maintenance and improvements at national parks across the country. He said he would adopt a "states-first wildlife policy — a policy that allows states to implement their own plans for restoring and protecting the species."...more

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