BHA Asks Senate to Reject William Pendley as BLM Head

News for Immediate Release
June 29, 2020
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262,
[email protected]

Administration announces plan to formally nominate Pendley, anti-public lands zealot

BLM director nominee William Perry Pendley

MISSOULA, Mont. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers responded today to the Trump administration’s announcement of its intention to nomination William Perry Pendley, a well-known advocate of the sale of public lands, as director of the Bureau of Land Management and urged Senate members to oppose Pendley’s nomination.

BHA President and CEO Land Tawney pressed U.S. senators to show their support of American public lands and waters by opposing Pendley’s nomination as head of the BLM.

“It’s high time that the administration is moving forward to fill this critical leadership position, one that has remained vacant for over three years and one that we have repeatedly requested,” said Tawney. “The importance of the role of the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees more public lands and waters than another other agency, cannot be overstated. 

“William Perry Pendley has built a career on attempting to dismantle our public lands and waters and take down agencies like the BLM,” continued Tawney. “His views and actions should repulse anyone who cares about our shared landscapes. We look forward to Mr. Pendley’s resume receiving scrutiny and thorough vetting through the Senate confirmation process. And we look forward to our Senate leaders concluding that Mr. Pendley must not be given the keys to the BLM.”

Pendley is an attorney with a long and established track record of supporting the sale of millions of acres of U.S. public lands and waters. Until 2018 he was president of the conservative law firm Mountain States Legal Foundation and has authored books including Warriors for the West: Fighting Bureaucrats, Radical Groups, and Liberal Judges on America's Frontier and War on the West: Government Tyranny on America's Great Frontier. In 2016 he wrote a National Review column calling on the federal government to sell Western public lands.

The BLM manages nearly 700 million acres of the federal government’s subsurface mineral estate as well as 245 million surface acres, one eighth of the country's landmass. Since taking office, President Trump has failed to nominate a BLM director for confirmation by the Senate, leaving the public lands agency to be managed by a series of acting directors and temporary appointees for more than three years.

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