GRAND JUNCTION — Career staff at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management have until Thursday to tell the agency whether they’ll relocate from the nation’s capital to new posts in the West.

That includes about 24 positions at the BLM’s new national headquarters in Grand Junction.

Colorado Public Radio reports that the deadline affects nearly 200 high-level agency employees.

It’s all part of the Trump administration’s decision to move bureau headquarters to the West, closer to the public land — 99% of it in 12 Western states — that the agency oversees.

William Perry Pendley, the BLM’s acting director, is overseeing the move, including the dispersal of about 300 Washington-based employees across the West.

Most of the bureau’s 10,000 employees are already in Western field offices.

The BLM balances competing demands from oil and gas drilling, mining, ranching, outdoor recreation and environmental protection.

The Associated Press