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A few weeks ago, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt tapped attorney William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management on an acting basis. This is tremendously concerning because Pendley has an extremely dangerous track record that makes him entirely unfit to oversee 250 million acres of America’s precious public lands, including 8 million acres right here in Montana.

Pendley has a long legal career and media persona of fighting to dismantle America’s public lands heritage. He has consistently advocated for the complete selloff of public lands. Now, he is in a position to take steps towards that ultimate goal. Pendley’s ideology leading the BLM threatens to cause irrevocable harm to our lands and our institutions by de facto privatization of our lands, cutting the public out of public processes and drastically prioritizing our public lands for the private interests of oil, gas, and coal companies.

Public lands are the backbone of Montana’s $7 million outdoor recreation economy, one of the largest sectors of our economy. Public lands are also essential to me and other Montana citizens for personal recreation, renewal, reflection, and health. Without public lands, the lives that we all enjoy here in Montana wouldn’t exist.

Senator Steve Daines has called concerns like mine over Pendley “overblown,” and refuses to denounce this dangerous appointment. Senator Daines, please, listen to your constituents and publicly condemn Pendley’s appointment as the acting director of the BLM.

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Rita Harding

Billings

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