The Bureau of Land Management is no longer in Hollister. Oh, there are still thousands of acres that the BLM controls in San Benito County, including 35,000 acres in the Panoche Hills, but as of Feb. 17 there is no longer a BLM office in Hollister.
BLM has shuttered the doors to its Hollister Field Office at 20 Hamilton Court, packed up and left town to open up shop Feb. 22 in Marina under a new name, the Bureau of Land Management Central Coast Field Office.
Why leave? And why Marina?
“BLM has been in the current office for about 25 years and it no longer supported the needs of the office, so we started looking at new quarters,” said David Christy, BLM Central California public affairs officer.
Christy said it was more economical to move to Marina than revamp the Hollister office, which he said was outdated and no longer centrally located to BLM lands.
“Twenty-five years ago we didn’t have the Fort Ord National Monument,” he said. “We didn’t have the California Coastal National Monument, so quite a bit of the management responsibility has gradually shifted from the eastern side close to Hollister to along the coast. Some of the eastern holdings, if you go south through King City instead of Hollister, it’s about the same drive time.”
Christy said approximately 30 local BLM employees were affected by the move, which has been planned for several years.
“We go through the General Services Administration (GSA), which handles leasing space,” he said. “The lease was expiring and when that happens they look at what makes sense as far as relocating. Then there is a process that GSA goes through taking bids and looking at potential real estate.”
The Marina office is somewhat larger, but the main consideration for the move was the proximity to the Fort Ord National Monument, whose staff, which operated out of a satellite office, has joined those from Hollister.
“It was basically a business decision,” Christy said, “with the rational being that the acquisitions that have taken place over the last 25 years over along the coast.”
Rick Cooper, who was the BLM manager in Hollister, is filling the same position at the new Marina office. The location of the new office is 940 2nd Ave., and the phone numbers are: Office, (831) 582-2200; fax (831) 582-2266. Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information about nearby BLM recreation areas: County: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/hollister/recreation/williams_hill.html
For more information about BLM in California: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en.html