Acting Bureau of Land Management Director Pendley reappointed amidst grave concerns over ethics
The Mountain Pact
Yesterday Secretary Bernhardt reappointed Acting Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director William Perry Pendley whose appointment was set to expire today. The reappointment terminates on January 3, 2020. Pendley has been a controversial pick to lead the Bureau of Land Management as he’s been an ardent advocate for the disposal and sell-off of public lands. He has a decades-long history as a leader in the land-seizure movement. Twelve U.S. Senators, led by Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, called for his removal last week.
Anna Peterson, Executive Director of The Mountain Pact, said, “It just doesn’t make sense – why do we have an acting head of the Bureau of Land Management who has made a career out of destroying environmental protections, advocating for the sale of our public lands to corporate polluters, and dismantling the very agency he is overseeing? With over 50 conflicts of interests with oil, gas, and mining companies and other corporate interests, he should be removed from his position at the Bureau of Land Management immediately.”
Mayor of Avon, Colorado, Sarah Smith Hymes, said, “The world is calling for action on climate change and we have just reappointed a head of the Bureau of Land Management who doesn’t believe the climate is changing. The health of our Western public lands are crucial to our communities’ cultural and economic vitality. It’s terrifying to have an acting head of the Bureau of Land Management who has spent his life working to dismantle our public lands and the mission of the agency he’s now in charge of leading.”
Frisco, Colorado Mayor Pro Tem, Hunter Mortensen, said, “The reappointment of William Pendley to head the Bureau of Land Management is yet another example of this administration’s greed taking precedence over public health, strong economies, outdoor recreation, wildlife conservation, clean air, and clean water. He has a blatant disregard for the mission of the agency he leads.”
Mayor of Ophir, Colorado, Corinne Platt Said, “By continuously appointing former extractive industry and anti-public lands leaders to head key environmental agencies, the Trump Administration’s priorities are clear. The President and his top officials at the Department of Interior have time and time again proven that they are interested in furthering the destruction and exploitation of our public lands and putting western mountain communities at risk.”
Town Councilmember Jessica Burley from Frisco, Colorado, said, “This administration continues to appoint leaders who have long histories of working to dismantle our conservation protections. Shouldn’t we have someone in this position who is actually working to protect our public lands not irreplaceably destroy them?”
About The Mountain Pact
Founded in 2014, The Mountain Pact is an effort to educate, mobilize, and empower mountain towns with outdoor recreation-based economies in the American West around federal policy. We work with local elected officials in over 50 mountain communities from all 11 western states to build resilience in the face of environmental stresses and their economic impacts through a shared voice on policies related to climate, public lands, and outdoor recreation.
Please see here for anew report from The Mountain Pact titled “Public Lands Conservation in the Trump Era: How the Trump Administration's Policies are Hurting Western Mountain Communities" which examines the direct and immediate impacts of the Trump administration’s policies on public lands and Western communities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.