This July, Secretary of the Interior David Burnhardt tapped attorney William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management on an acting basis.

This isn’t Pendley’s first go-around in the federal government. In the 1980s, he was dismissed from President Reagan’s administration over unethical, potentially illegal coal leasing practices in Wyoming’s Power River Basin. Pendley was caught in a scheme that signaled to coal companies that the federal government might be willing to lease lands for production at illegally low rates as a hand-out to the industry.

Since then, he’s waged a consistent war against our public lands, both in the media and in the courtroom. He’s written articles calling for the complete repeal of the Antiquities Act, the Endangered Species Act, and for the wholesale transfer of public lands into private hands. Most recently, he was lead counsel for Solenex, the company determined to drill for oil in the sacred Badger-Two Medicine area of Montana under a lease the federal government issued illegally in the 1980s; that suit is still before the court.

He’s already been dismissed from federal service for unethical behavior, and has a glaring conflict of interest with the Solenex case. What could possibly make him fit to direct the BLM?

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This man is the fox in charge of the henhouse, and he needs to go. Sen. Steve Daines has carped about environmental extremists, but if he doesn’t stand up for the public lands he says he loves and denounce Pendley’s appointment, who is the extremist?

Roger Otstot


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