July 26, 2020
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) move to Grand Junction, Colorado continues to struggle at the agency’s senior management level. A July 11, 2020 Editorial in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel strongly opposes William Perry Pendley’s nomination to serve as the director of the Bureau of Land Management, now headquartered in Grand Junction.
“Pendley doesn’t get it – and can’t head up the BLM,” is The Sentinel editorial headline. Remarks regarding Pendley include the following:
We were prepared, not too long ago, to endorse William Perry Pendley’s nomination to serve as director of the Bureau of Land Management on the cynical premise that no matter who is put in charge of the agency, the policy agenda is unlikely to change.
His baggage is well-known. As president of the conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation, he consistently questioned the existence of public lands. “The Founding Fathers intended all lands owned by the federal government to be sold,” he wrote in a 2016 piece for the National Review. As recently as January 2019, Pendley tweeted that the president could sell public lands to pay for the border wall.
These are views that don’t square with running an agency responsible for managing multiple uses on 245 million acres of public lands and preserving them for the benefit of future generations.
Yet, Pendley has managed to distance himself from his own views on public lands by saying they’re not relevant. We could continue to argue that it matters little who is sitting in the BLM director’s chair.
Perhaps most importantly, moving the BLM’s headquarters to Grand Junction was a stroke of genius because it requires whoever holds the director’s title to live with those who are most affected by BLM policy.
But Pendley has managed to disqualify himself from the position. More disqualifying than his identity as a sagebrush rebel, in our opinion, are his views on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Pendley has been the face of a fringe movement against federal ownership of public lands, only to be nominated as one of the country’s chief custodians of public lands. He’s the last person who should be criticizing other movements given the incredible pass he’s received thus far over what many consider disqualifying positions on public lands policy.
What this means to you
A Grand Junction Daily Sentinel editorial strongly opposes William Perry Pendley’s nomination to serve as the director of the Bureau of Land Management, now headquartered in Grand Junction.
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