New Polling Reveals Constitutional Conundrum for Key Senators Over Trump’s Former Top Land Manager

Voters in Six States Resoundingly Reject Acting Public Lands Manager Pendley’s Illegal Tenure

New polling commissioned by Western Values Project, an Accountable.US project focused on public lands accountability, found that voters across six states strongly oppose unconfirmed, illegal acting Bureau of Land Management Director William Perry Pendley’s rein as the country’s top public lands and natural resource manager. Pendley, a known anti-public land extremisthad been the helm of the bureau for over 420 days, contrary to federal law and the U.S. Constitution. 

The results of these polls highlight the hypocrisy of some of these senators, who are now trying to have their cake and eat it too by invoking the need to adhere to the U.S. Constitution in the case of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee but have been complicit in continued abhorrence for the rule of law regarding temporary officials like Pendley, said Jayson O’Neill, Western Values Project director. 

The polls conducted by Public Policy Polling found that voters in Montana, Maine, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, and Arizona resoundingly rejected the Trump administration’s decision to unconstitutionally install Pendley as America’s top land manager.  

When voters were asked if they approved of William Perry Pendley managing 246 million acres of our shared public lands and 700 million acres of our shared energy and mineral resources as the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management while circumventing the  constitutional requirement to be confirmed by the Senate, the polls found that: 

The polls also asked voters about overall approval ratings, including opinions on public land and environmental issues. Trump and most senators overall and public lands approval ratings were underwater in every state except Montana, a state the president won by over 20 points in 2016 but barely topped 50% in when the polls were conducted.  

Montana voters were evenly split on Daines (45/45), but the state’s junior senator received a slightly positive rating regarding his public lands and environmental record (46/43). Every other Republican senator had a negative overall approval rating, including on public lands and the environment.  

Both Trump and Daines have been working overtime to greenwash their abysmal public lands recordsDaines previously said that constituent concerns over Pendley were ‘overblown’ and received 6% lifetime score and an overall F from top national conservation and park advocacy groupsHe is even trying to take credit for the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act even though leaders behind the effort have rightfully pointed out that Daines did next to nothing on the legislation.  

The polls also asked voters in Maine, Nevada, and Alaska about specific public land and environmental decisions made by the Trump administration, including logging old-growth trees in Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the unilateral revocation of Seamounts Marine National Monument and threats to Katahdin National Monument in Maine, and unchecked oil and gas drilling in Nevada. 

View the summary memos and full results here. 

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