Today, the Interior Department named William Perry Pendley to be the Bureau of Land Management’s Acting Director. Previously, Pendley was an extremist lawyer who supported the transfer of federal public lands to the state.
“This appointment shows Trump and Bernhardt are only interested in selling off public lands to the highest bidder. Pendley is an outspoken advocate for the transfer of public lands to the state. Anything they’ve ever said about not selling off public lands has just been a political smokescreen to distract from their real intentions: handing over public lands to their special interest allies,” said Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project.
WVP is releasing background information today on the Department of Influence at this link.
Pendley’s resume includes being dismissed from the Reagan Administration for controversy around a coal lease sale as well as continually calling for revoking monument designations and repealing the Antiquities Act. Pendley repeatedly criticized former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for not going far enough with his illegal monument reduction recommendations. He has rallied against sage grouse protections, even sporting the Twitter handle “SageBrush_Rebel.” Pendley called the Endangered Species Act “the pit bull of environmental law,” claiming that it did not rely on “good science.”
Pendley was president of the Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) for 29 years from 1989 until late 2018, which was launched “as a conservative counterweight to environmental groups’ litigation efforts.” MSLF’s mission is “focused on defending the constitution, protecting property rights, and advancing economic liberty.”