BHA Responds to Daines Support of Anti-Public Lands Activist as BLM Head

News for Immediate Release
Nov. 10, 2019
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262,
[email protected]

MISSOULA, Mont. – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers today responded to a statement made by Sen. Steve Daines confirming his support of William Perry Pendley, an outspoken proponent of selling public lands and waters, as director of the Bureau of Land Management.

Last week, Daines sent a letter to President Trump urging him to “nominate qualified individuals” to key positions within the Department of the Interior, including at the BLM. When subsequently asked by a reporter whether he would vote for Pendley should he be nominated by the administration, however, Daines responded to the affirmative. Pendley has been serving as acting head of the BLM following his appointment by the administration in July.

BHA President and CEO Land Tawney offered the following reaction:

“By supporting William Pendley as director of the Bureau of Land Management, Senator Daines just gut-punched public land owners in Montana and across the nation. We are deeply disappointed by the senator’s actions.

“While Mr. Pendley can’t sell or transfer public lands in his role at the BLM, Senator Daines just gave a match to the man who has made a career out of attempting to burn down the BLM. We ask everyone who uses public lands to contact Senator Daines today and ask him to walk back his support.”

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 late last year serving as president of the conservative law firm Mountain States Legal Foundation, Pendley has authored a string of books criticizing public lands, including 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.

BHA members and supporters have sent more than 19,000 letters to Congress urging opposition to Pendley’s appointment.

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