After White House Moves to Withdraw Pendley Nomination, Tester Vows Opposition to Any Continued Role at Bureau of Land Management for Anti-Public Lands Activist

Senator: “William Perry Pendley and his anti-public lands agenda have no place at the Bureau of Land Management.”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today vowed opposition to any continued role for William Perry Pendley at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), after reports indicated the White House intends to withdraw the anti-public land activist’s nomination to formally head the agency. Pendley will remain with the agency in his current role as an unconfirmed acting director.

“William Perry Pendley and his anti-public lands agenda have no place at the Bureau of Land Management,” Tester said. “This withdrawal is a clear acknowledgement from the Administration that he can’t hold up to public scrutiny or tough questions. But our fight is not over until he is no longer overseeing our public lands. I will continue to stand with Governor Bullock and our fellow Montanans in opposition to Pendley’s ongoing role in managing the public lands that he has spent his career undermining.”

Tester has led the charge against Pendley ever since he was installed as de facto head of BLM without a confirmation hearing or a vote more than a year ago. He recently led a group of Western Democratic Senators in calling for an expedited Senate confirmation hearing to force Pendley to answer for his career of anti-public land activism before the American people.

Tester also wrote to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt in July urging him to remove Pendley, who has repeatedly stated his desire to sell off America’s public lands and who was forced to recuse himself last year from a large portion of BLM’s portfolio due to various flagrant conflicts of interest. Additionally, Tester pushed President Trump to expedite Pendley’s nomination in June to give the public an opportunity to review his troubling record.

Immediately after his nomination last summer Tester assailed Pendley’s record, and wrote a letter voicing serious concerns over his repeated calls for the federal government to sell off public lands, demanding he explain his past ethical violations regarding a coal leasing program and calling on him to recuse himself from his many conflicts of interest, including the Badger Two-Medicine case.