WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced her original co-sponsorship of Senator Jon Tester’s (D-MT) Public Lands Leadership Act, legislation that bars the Department of Justice (DOJ) from taking further action on a recent federal court ruling that William Perry Pendley should be removed from his position as de facto Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and underscores Pendley’s problematic public lands record.
“Nevada’s public lands are a source of pride, history, and economic strength for the Silver State,” said Senator Rosen. “During William Perry Pendley’s time at the BLM, Nevada’s public lands have been in jeopardy - not just from the threat of climate change, or from the deadly wildfires raging across our nation’s Western states – but from an unconfirmed and unaccountable acting head of the BLM who is unqualified to be managing our nation’s public lands and wildlife. I’m proud to join Senator Tester to introduce this important piece of legislation to prohibit the DOJ from stepping in to protect Mr. Pendley’s de facto role at the BLM. I will continue to be an advocate for our environment and fight to protect our nation’s public lands.”
BACKGROUND: Approximately 67 percent of the state of Nevada – roughly 48 million acres – is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
William Perry Pendley has served as director of the BLM for 424 days without a formal nomination from Congress, while exercising the authority of the director, well beyond the 210-day limit for acting directors set out in the Vacancies Reform Act, and flouting Congress’s ability to advise and consent to new nominees.
In March, Senator Rosen helped introduce the Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422), landmark legislation to preserve and protect our country’s public lands. The bipartisan legislation provides permanent and full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and addresses the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks and land management agencies. The legislation passed the Senate in June and was signed into law in August.
In July, Senator Rosen joined a letter led by Senator Jon Tester calling for an expedited Senate confirmation hearing for William Perry Pendley, who was installed as the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2019 without a Senate confirmation hearing or vote. The letter highlighted Pendley’s history of hostility toward the public lands he now oversees, and urged the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to expedite the confirmation hearing so Pendley could answer in-person for his troubling record of anti-public lands advocacy before the American public. Additionally, Senator Rosen joined Senator Tester in a press call highlighting Pendley’s troubling record and calling for an expedited hearing so the public can see how unfit he is for this nomination.
In August, Senator Rosen joined Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Joe Manchin (D-WV), and the entire Democratic Caucus in a letter to President Trump opposing Bureau of Land Management Director nominee William Perry Pendley.
In September, Rosen spoke on the Senate floor to demand that William Perry Pendley step down as Acting Director of the BLM.