After already serving as the unconfirmed Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for five months, William Perry Pendley has officially been redelegated authority to lead America’s largest public lands management agency by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. The redelegation comes despite widespread concern from public lands watchdog groups, Congress, former and current BLM officials, and sports groups concerning Pendley’s extremist views and his laundry list of conflicts of interest. In response, Western Values Project (WVP) launched WilliamPendley.org, a website detailing his past and calling on Congress to immediately reject him.
In a statement, Western Values Project Deputy Director Jayson O’Neill said:
“Secretary Bernhardt’s redelegation of the BLM director’s authority to anti-public lands zealot Pendley is a slap in the face to all public land users and the U.S. Constitution. After three years of skirting the constitution by appointing temporary non-confirmed political hires to key positions at Interior, it is long past time for Senators to demand an up or down vote on zealots like Pendley.
“Putting extremist William Pendley in charge of the BLM again is the equivalent of the Trump administration openly putting America’s public lands up for sale. Pendley has proven time and again that he is not to be trusted with America’s outdoor heritage, let alone managing a bureau tasked with overseeing some 245 million acres of public lands and 700 million acres of natural resources. President Trump and Sec. Bernhardt are so out of touch with America’s valued outdoor heritage that they see no issue with again handing extremist Pendley the keys to America’s public lands kingdom.”
The new website, detailing Pendley’s conflicted and extremist past, urges all visitors to contact their Senators to ask them to reject Pendley. The petition explains that William Pendley is too conflicted to lead the largest public lands management agency and is too extreme for any role at Interior.
Pendley released an extensive 17-page recusal list detailing a 30-year-long resume of anti-public lands advocacy as well as several instances of suing the Interior Department or its sub-agencies. The list details over 50 entities that Pendley must be ethically dismissed from working on, making him more conflicted than his former mega-lobbyist boss, Sec. Bernhardt.