William Perry Pendley now a leader of the Bureau of Land Management (as Deputy Director, Policy and Programs)

A note from SFTHH:  William Perry Pendley is now a leader of the Bureau of Land Management, as the Deputy Director of Policy and Programs.  Pendley’s twitter account handle is “Wm Perry Pendley @Sagebrush_Rebel.”  (Author Jonathan Thompson wrote: ““(The) Sagebrush (Rebellion) comes into relief as what it really is — a murky fusion of idealism and greed that may not be heroic, nor righteous, nor even intelligent. Only one certainty exists — that Sagebrush is a revolt against federal authority…”)

Here is an article from E&E News about Pendley:


Advocate for federal land sales ascends to top at BLM

by Scott Streater, E&E News reporter

William Perry Pendley, a conservative lawyer who has supported the selling of millions of acres of federal lands to Western states, is now the top political official overseeing the Bureau of Land Management — only a week after joining the agency.

Pendley, who until December served as president of the conservative law firm Mountain States Legal Foundation, was appointed BLM deputy director of policy and programs last week (Greenwire, July 15).

But now Pendley is listed on BLM’s online organization chart, along with BLM Deputy Director of Operations Mike Nedd, as leading the bureau that manages 245 million acres of public lands, mostly in the West.

President Trump has never nominated a BLM director for Senate confirmation, so the top slot has been overseen by “acting” directors and deputies since 2017.

Casey Hammond, the Interior Department’s principal deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management, served the past two months as a de facto acting director. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt designated Hammond with the power to exercise all “functions, duties, and responsibilities” of the BLM director through the end of this month.

But that detail, approved by Bernhardt in an amended secretarial order last May, has ended. Hammond appears to have returned to his senior post at Interior; he is no longer listed on BLM’s webpage as leading the bureau on an acting basis.

It’s not clear whether Bernhardt plans to name a new acting director. Representatives with Interior and BLM ignored multiple requests for information or comment on this story.


Other articles about William Perry Pendley:

Breaking the BLM

Conservative lawyer named to senior BLM post





17 replies »

  1. No comments, no response, no official appointments. Alternet had a good article yesterday outlining that this lack of forth coming information from normally official departments is the way the Trump administration and his ilk will hamstring all efforts to to retain or recouporate the normal function of this country’s government. Confusion, lack of info, it’s how they win. Keep thinking people in the dark about information and keep the deplorable’s pumped.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mountain States Legal Foundation received funds from WHICH “MAJOR CORPORATION”?

    Foundation that launched Interior chiefs Watt, Norton doubles down on litigation
    Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter
    Greenwire: Thursday, January 2, 2014

    “….though it acknowledges that it received FUNDS FROM “MAJOR CORPORATIONS” funds from “major corporations” and seven grants from national foundations ranging from $15,000 to $75,000.”

    Among the many framed comic strips in the Mountain States Legal Foundation president’s office here is one of a Zeus-like character perched on a cloud and holding a thunderbolt.

    “Let’s keep them off balance,” the caption says. “Try to hit an environmentalist.”

    That pretty much sums up the philosophy of the foundation launched in the late 1970s as a conservative counterweight to environmental groups’ litigation efforts. Mountain States has defended the government against the likes of the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife.

    But lately the foundation has been taking on the government, challenging what it views as regulatory overreach. This month, the nonprofit foundation based in a Denver suburb will be at the Supreme Court representing a Wyoming property owner who says the Forest Service had no right to build a bicycle trail on an abandoned railway that bisects his property (Greenwire, Dec. 3).
    William Perry Pendley, the foundation’s president, said the case shows the government flouting property rights and acting without accountability. That, he said, is a troubling trend that has given Mountain States plenty of litigation opportunities.

    “A Marine under attack says it’s a target-rich environment. We can shoot in any direction and hit the enemy,” said Pendley, a rangy former Marine who served in the Interior Department under President Reagan. “That’s what we have — a target-rich environment. And that’s not a good thing.”

    3 goals
    Pendly set three goals. The first: Win the lawsuit. With only a $2 million annual budget and seven attorneys,

    Mountain States’ second goal: Set a legal precedent….

    Mountain States says a third of its funding in 2012 came from 81 large donors whose contributions ranged from $600,000 to $5,000. Another third came from about 200 donors who gave between $1,000 and $5,000. The last third came from about 17,500 individuals who contributed up to $1,000.
    The average contribution was $431 in 2012, the foundation says, though it acknowledges that it received funds from “major corporations” and seven grants from national foundations ranging from $15,000 to $75,000.


    Liked by 1 person

    • What an incredibly evil attitude in their “cartoon”: Zeus-like character perched on a cloud and holding a thunderbolt.

      “Let’s keep them off balance,” the caption says. “Try to hit an environmentalist.”

      Liked by 1 person


      Colorado’s Animas River turned a shade of yellow after the Gold King mine spill in 2015. Image from archives.

      Sunnyside Gold Corp. or SGC, a subsidiary of Canada’s Kinross Gold (TSX: K) (NYSE: KGC), sent a letter this week to the Region 8 Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Colorado rejecting recent declarations by the government agency.
      In early June 2019, the EPA announced that it has modified an order to Sunnyside so that the company helps pay for some of the cleanup investigation taking place at the American Tunnel in the Bonita Peak Superfund area north of Silverton, Colorado.

      Were the EPA Statement accurate, CDPHE, CMLRD and BLM should be held in utter contempt for completely failing to fulfill their statutory responsibilities. The EPA Statement also disparages numerous others, including the Animas River Stakeholders Group, past leadership of EPA, and a Colorado District Judge, who endorsed SGC’s notable environmental achievements.”

      Sunnyside considers that -as MOUNTAIN STATES LEGAL FOUNDATION has said- the EPA is in a conflict of interest because it is acting as a regulator and supervisor of cleanup activities in the Bonita Peak Mining District while at the same time being a responsible party.




      Mining company rejects EPA order for Superfund cleanup work
      Jul 10, 2019

      A mining company says it won’t carry out cleanup work ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of a Superfund project in southwest Colorado
      The Durango Herald reported Wednesday that Sunnyside Gold Corp. sent the EPA a letter saying the company isn’t responsible for pollution flowing from inactive mines in the area
      The EPA wants Sunnyside to help pay for some of the initial investigations into the Bonita Peak Superfund cleanup, citing the company’s previous mining activity there.

      The EPA says it will review Sunnyside’s letter before deciding its next step.

      The Bonita Peak Superfund project includes the Gold King Mine, source of a 2015 spill that polluted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. An EPA-led contractor inadvertently triggered the spill while excavating at the mine entrance.



  3. And it just keeps getting better…

    From PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)

    Pizza Party for Lean Management Video Winners
    Posted on Jul 25, 2019

    Amid reports of cratering morale, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants its employees to shoot videos of interactions with their managers, according to an announcement posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Creators of the three videos judged the best by EPA’s “Office of Continuous Improvement” win an officially sponsored pizza party, an agency-wide screening, and possible cash award.

    “The extent of internal self-censorship in today’s EPA is at an all-time high,” added Bennett, pointing to examples of EPA specialists being forbidden from raising concerns or disclosing potential violations of pollution control laws. “If employee videos revealed what is really going on inside EPA, they would never be allowed to see the light of day.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reminds me of the press “shows” where members of our Pres. administration all take turns praising him – publicly!!! This kind of “interaction” seems to be prevalent in DC at the present time.


  4. Policy is NOT and does NOT trump LAW

    Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy

    Law vs. Public Policy: A Critical Exploration Theodore J. Lowi

    To prepare for this keynote, I went back through some issues of the Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy. I was delighted by the variety of topics, the consistently high level of scholarship and, for law journals, the lively and often sparkling use of the English language. But one question became increasingly prominent: why the coupling of law with public policy, especially in a law school journal?

    Even in the United States, the idea of public policy is relatively recent. Law was the word in the American founding, concerned as it was with “a government of laws and not of men.”

    Therefore, law equals legislation. Article II reinforces this by providing in stark and precise terms that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”5 Public policy had no place in any of this. Public policy did not enter the picture at all until well into the nineteenth century and far from law or legislation.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Law vs. Public Policy: A Critical Exploration Theodore J. Lowi

    Americans have always put a lot of stock in not being fooled or put off by the formal, seeking to pierce through to the informal, the real-as in being able to bargain with power before power is applied. Law is formal; policy is real. The ultimate expression of this comes out in an apocryphal story about President Grover Cleveland who refused to support the bill of a certain lobbyist on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. To this refusal the lobbyist replied, “What’s the Constitution between friends?” All of this is true and has been widely endorsed, especially by moderates of all ideological and partisan persuasions.
    I accept this fact, but I am drawn passionately to the opposite conclusion, that policy, as understood within all five rubrics, is a danger, not a boon.


  6. From PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)
    July 29, 2019
    Ultra-Right Wing Lawyer William Pendley is Uniquely Unqualified to Run BLM
    Posted on Jul 29, 2019

    Further, the BLM Director position is one that requires the “advice and consent” of the Senate, under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. However, President Trump and Secretary Bernhardt have diligently detoured around that requirement, denying all of the U.S. Senate the ability to review and confirm or deny a nominee for the position.

    “The very purpose of the Constitution’s advice and consent requirement is so the Senate can block the President from appointing unqualified, ultra-controversial ideologues like William Pendley into major agency leadership positions,”

    BLM has been run during the Trump Administration by a rotating cast of political appointees, whom PEER has named “bad actors.” Mr. Pendley is the 5th such actor. Mr. Trump has never even bothered to nominate a full Director to the Senate for confirmation. The legality of all these appointments is highly doubtful.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Swamp thickens:

    Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is requesting a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into Daniel Jorjani, currently the top lawyer at Interior who was nominated to officially take over as solicitor for the department.

    “Attempts by political appointees at the Interior Department to delay, stonewall and otherwise inhibit public and Congressional oversight are totally unacceptable,” Wyden said in a statement. “I cannot allow Mr. Jorjani’s nomination to proceed. I will object to any unanimous consent agreement to consider his nomination. … during the hearing, senators became annoyed by Jorjani’s responses to their questions, particularly those that inquired about a new policy at Interior that allows political appointees to review public records requested through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).”


    Liked by 1 person


    Members of the Blackfeet Tribe, conservation groups and U.S. Sen. Jon Tester were among those in Montana who criticized the appointment Monday of William Perry Pendley as director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, arguing he supports the sale of federal public lands and oil and gas interests.

    “Interior Secretary David Bernhardt knows that Pendley’s record as an anti-public land crusader would never withstand the scrutiny of a Senate confirmation hearing,” Dave Chadwick, executive director at Montana Wildlife Federation, said in a news release. “Installing Pendley as acting BLM director deprives the American people from having a say through our elected Senators.”
    Pendley’s position on two issues in particular, oil and gas development in the Badger-Two Medicine area in Montana and the sale of federal public lands in the West, have sparked controversy which, in turn, prompted concerns about Pendley’s appointment.


    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is an alarming but in-depth review of what this appointment means for our public lands:

    “The Trump administration last week tapped William Perry Pendley, a conservative lawyer who has spent decades campaigning against federal land protection, to oversee 245 million acres of public land — more than 10% of the entire U.S. landmass.

    William Perry Pendley, a conservative lawyer who has spent decades campaigning against federal land protection, is now the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management. It’s an appointment that many, including current and former Bureau of Land Management officials, view as part of a broader effort aimed at pawning off America’s natural heritage.

    “This is Sagebrush Rebellion 2020,” one current BLM employee in the West told HuffPost, adding that it is “hard to imagine” Pendley’s appointment isn’t a move toward eventually selling off federal lands or transferring control to the states.”



  10. Posted this elsewhere earlier but it belongs here as well. Kudos to New Mexico, and hope more states will step up to join them:

    “The New Mexico Wildlife Federation is calling for the removal of acting Bureau of Land Management director William Perry Pendley.

    Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt appointed Pendley through an executive order on July 29. NMWF joined the National Wildlife Federation and all of its western affiliates to protest Pendley’s appointment in an Aug. 7 letter to Congress.

    “Put simply, (Pendley) believes public lands should not be in public hands,” the letter reads.

    According to his biography on the BLM website, Pendley is a Wyoming native and former U.S. Marine who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy and Minerals in the Interior Department during the Reagan administration before becoming president of the Mountain States Legal Foundation.

    Jesse Deubel, executive director for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, called Pendley’s appointment “unfathomable.”

    “He has been outspoken about transferring the management of federal land to private ownership,” Deubel said. “That should disqualify him from running a public land agency that manages 240 million acres.”

    In January 2016, Pendley wrote an article for the National Review titled, “The Federal Government Should Follow the Constitution and Sell Its Western Lands,” in which he decried environmental groups he said are not familiar with western public lands interests for having “intervened in land-management decision making.”



  11. DOI official threatens action against sitting Congresspeople for opposing the BLM headquarters move to Colorado:

    “An outgoing top official at the U.S. Department of the Interior said he may reconsider placing government employees in the home states of lawmakers who expressed opposition to the relocation of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

    Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-M.N.), who oversee the Interior Department’s budget through their roles on the Senate and House Appropriations committees, wrote last Friday asking the agency to suspend its relocation of BLM.

    A response from Joe Balash, BLM’s assistant secretary for land and minerals management who announced Aug. 20 he is resigning from Interior, makes clear their opposition has jeopardized plans to send federal employees to their state.

    “Given your apparent strong feelings about the Department’s actions and intentions, we pledge to review and reconsider the relocation of additional departmental resources to your state,” Balash wrote to the two lawmakers in a letter obtained by The Hill. “We are also open to working with other delegations that object to additional departmental resources being allocated to their states.”



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