New BLM Leader Is Advocate for Sale of Public Lands

News for Immediate Release
July 26, 2019
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262, mckalip@backcountryhunters.org

William Perry Pendley, an outspoken proponent of selling off public lands and waters,
has been appointed BLM policy head, charting management of 245 million acres

WASHINGTON – Backcountry Hunters & Anglers bluntly criticized an administration decision to elevate a well-known advocate of the sale of public lands to the top policy position at the Bureau of Land Management.

William Perry Pendley, an attorney with a long and established track record of supporting the sale of millions of acres of U.S. public lands and waters, has assumed a top position at the BLM, according to the agency’s own organization chart. Pendley’s ascension follows his appointment as BLM deputy director of policy and programs only a week ago. 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 two years.

Land Tawney, BHA president and CEO, offered outspoken criticism of Pendley’s appointment.

“William Pendley has made a name for himself by relentlessly and brazenly attacking our American system of public lands and waters and advocating for the sale of this priceless American legacy,” said Tawney. “Mr. Pendley is not someone who should be entrusted with the management of our public estate. The fox has taken control of the hen house, and he is poised to systematically dismantle the very resources he is charged with overseeing.

“The Trump administration has stated over and over again its support for our public lands, for our fish and wildlife populations, and for the outdoor traditions cherished by millions of citizens,” Tawney continued. “Actions speak louder than words.”

Until late last year Pendley was president of the conservative law firm Mountain States Legal Foundation. He has authored books titled Warriors for the West: Fighting Bureaucrats, Radical Groups, and Liberal Judges on America's Frontier; War on the West: Government Tyranny on America's Great Frontier and It Takes A Hero: The Grassroots Battle Against Environmental Oppression. In 2016 he wrote a National Review column calling on the federal government to sell Western public lands.

The news of Pendley’s ascension at BLM follows a speech two weeks ago by President Trump touting his conservation record since taking office. 

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