WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined a letter led by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) calling for an expedited Senate confirmation hearing for William Perry Pendley, who was installed as the de facto acting director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) nearly a year ago without a confirmation hearing or vote. The letter highlights Pendley’s history of hostility toward the public lands he now oversees, and urges the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to expedite the confirmation hearing so Pendley can answer in-person for his troubling record of anti-public lands advocacy before the American public.
“As U.S. Senators representing the West, we understand that the management of our public lands is inextricably tied to our proud outdoor heritage and economy,” wrote the Senators. “The Bureau of Land Management plays an integral role in all of our communities and we do not believe Mr. Pendley is fit to oversee the agency. The American public deserves the opportunity to review how Mr. Pendley’s history conflicts with the important role of overseeing the Bureau of Land Management.”
BACKGROUND: Approximately 67 percent of the state of Nevada – roughly 48 million acres – is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Earlier today, 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 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.
Mr. Pendley has numerous conflicts of interest related to issues that would come before the Bureau of Land Management. One point of major concern involves Pendley’s encouragement of armed standoffs between federal law enforcement officials and ranchers. Pendley wrote an article entitled “The Federal Government Should Follow the Constitution and Sell Its Western Lands”.
The full text of the letter can be found here and below:
Dear Chairman Murkowski and Ranking Member Manchin: We are writing to respectfully ask that you expedite a hearing and subsequent business meeting on the nomination of William Pendley to serve as Director of the Bureau of Land Management. After nearly a year as Acting Director, Mr. Pendley’s formal nomination is long overdue, and the public deserves the opportunity to hold him accountable for his record of undermining our public lands, clean water, and jobs that rely on both. We respectfully ask that you work with Mr. Pendley to hold a hearing as soon as you receive his paperwork so his record can be vetted before the American public.
As U.S. Senators representing the West, we understand that the management of our public lands is inextricably tied to our proud outdoor heritage and economy. The Bureau of Land Management plays an integral role in all of our communities and we do not believe Mr. Pendley is fit to oversee the agency. His advocacy for selling off our public lands flies in the face of the agency's role in managing more than 245 million acres of public lands for the American public's benefit. He spent much of his career working against the interests of local communities who fought to protect public lands from development. The American public deserves the opportunity to review how Mr. Pendley’s history conflicts with the important role of overseeing the Bureau of Land Management.
Public land management is built on collaboration and community input. Mr. Pendley has supported extremists, defended leases issued on sacred tribal land without tribal consultation, and worked to undermine wildlife habitat protections based on years of careful negotiations. He has proven unwilling to work with local communities on collaborative solutions and is not a credible honest broker on land management or tribal sovereignty issues that come before the agency. Mr. Pendley has run the Bureau of Land Management for nearly a year, without Senate confirmation or even a nomination. Now that President Trump has submitted his nomination, it is critical for Mr. Pendley to finally step into the sunlight and give the U.S. Senate and the public an opportunity to explain his record. We appreciate your leadership and respectfully ask that you ensure the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources processes this nomination expeditiously.