Westerners Urge Senators to Reject Nomination of William Perry Pendley

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Wildlife Federation and its Western affiliates today sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate urging them to quickly hold confirmation hearings and then reject William Perry Pendley’s nomination to head the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The conservation organizations, which represent millions of members, cited Pendley’s long record of support for the sale and transfer of public lands, as well as a single-minded focus on oil and gas leasing during the past 12 months when he has unofficially led the agency.

“His agenda is lopsided, leaning into development at the expense of conservation. That is unsurprising, given his career long disdain for our nation’s public lands,” the conservation organizations wrote in a letter. “Just a few weeks ago, an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority of senators came together to affirm the importance of public lands by passing the Great American Outdoors Act. Now it’s time to come together again to demonstrate your unwavering commitment to these lands. … We are quite sure that when all the evidence is weighed, the vast majority of senators will agree with us that Mr. Pendley is the wrong man for this very important job.”

Pendley has served as the de facto head of the agency since last July. President Trump officially nominated him for the permanent position at the end of June. Prior to coming to the BLM, Pendley served for 30 years as president of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, an activist group that routinely (and unsuccessfully) sued the federal government to curtail agency authority and public use of public land. 

The conservationists said in the letter that this fact alone made him unfit to lead the agency. “Under Mr. Pendley’s watch, Mountain States Legal Foundation supported public land trespassers who held an armed standoff and threatened the lives of BLM employees. This antipathy for public lands and outward hostility towards public servants who manage them must not be a belief held by someone in charge of the agency. Further, the goal of selling off our federal lands is fundamentally in opposition to the bureau’s statutory responsibilities, its reason for being, its values and its mission.”

The letter's signatories are: 
•    Montana Wildlife Federation 
•    Arizona Wildlife Federation
•    Colorado Wildlife Federation
•    Conservation Northwest (Washington)
•    Idaho Wildlife Federation
•    New Mexico Wildlife Federation
•    Nevada Wildlife Federation
•    North Dakota Wildlife Federation
•    Planning and Conservation League (California)
•    The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council
•    South Dakota Wildlife Federation
•    Wyoming Wildlife Federation
•    National Wildlife Federation

The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest and most trusted conservation organization. Its 52 affiliates lead critical wildlife conservation efforts in their states and territories and pass policy resolutions each year that guide the National Wildlife Federation’s work. 


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