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Withdrawal of Pendley Nomination Shows Americans Reject Attempts to Sell Public Lands

“This move should be a wake-up call for anyone who attempts to appropriate the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt without embodying his conservation stewardship ethic.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The reported withdrawal of William Perry Pendley’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Land Management should be “a wake-up call” for leaders who purport to follow Theodore Roosevelt’s example while supporting actions that undermine our public lands and wildlife.

“William Perry Pendley has been unfit to lead the Bureau of Land Management every day since he was appointed acting director in 2019, and the fact that he was nominated this June and not withdrawn until millions of Americans and elected officials spoke out illustrates the wrongheaded priorities of this administration,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “Unfortunately, the ignominious end of Pendley’s nomination is more of a cynical nod to political realities than a retreat from the nihilist ideology he championed — and provides small solace for the communities and wildlife affected by the unbridled leasing of wildlife habitat and recreation lands across the West to energy development. 

“This move should be a wake-up call for anyone who attempts to appropriate the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt without embodying his conservation stewardship ethic.”

The National Wildlife Federation and its western affiliates have led efforts to highlight Pendley’s unfitness to lead the Bureau of Land Management since his appointment as its acting director one year ago. These efforts continued following his formal nomination to lead the agency, which manages more than 245 million acres of public lands.

O'Mara called for the U.S. Senate to reject Pendley's nomination in a Washington Post guest opinion column earlier this month

"The latest affront to Roosevelt’s legacy is Trump’s nomination of William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Despite his zealotry for selling off all public lands, his affinity for armed vigilantes and his anti-Black and anti-Native American writings, Pendley was elevated last year to serve as the unconfirmed acting head of the BLM, responsible for managing 245 million acres of land and leading 11,600 employees. Now that he has been formally nominated, senators should unite to reject his dangerous ascension to the post, just as they joined to pass the Great American Outdoors Act."

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