BHA Responds to Administration Withdrawal of BLM Director Nomination

News for Immediate Release
Aug. 15, 2020
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262, [email protected]

William Perry Pendley, a well-known opponent of public lands,
had been officially nominated as BLM head, remains acting director

MISSOULA, Mont. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today reacted to a decision by President Trump to withdraw his nomination of William Perry Pendley, an anti-public lands zealot who has advocated for their sale, as director of the Bureau of Land Management. Pendley has served as acting director of the BLM for more than a year.

BHA President and CEO Land Tawney offered the following response:

“William Pendley never should have been appointed to lead the Bureau of Land Management – either officially or in an acting capacity,” Tawney stated. “Public lands sportsmen and women united in opposition of his appointment as acting director and have consistently requested that he be formally nominated for consideration by the Senate. We applauded the administration’s recent decision to officially nominate Mr. Pendley for the director role, a move that we believe would have provided much needed scrutiny of his background – and, ultimately, his rejection by the Senate.

“To now pull back that opportunity for scrutiny but keep Mr. Pendley as acting director is ludicrous. The fox is still in the hen house. This shows a blatant disregard for the American people and is a slap in the face to public land owners all across our great nation. 

“These actions – and unfortunately, their implications for our public lands and waters – are without precedent. We the people must continue raising our voices. Today we stand firm, as we did a year ago: Pendley must go!”

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 left the public lands agency to be managed by a series of acting directors, including Pendley and temporary appointees for close to four years.

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for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

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