Pendley named BLM deputy director of policy and programs
Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced July 29 that conservative attorney William Perry Pendley would step in as deputy director of policy and programs for the Bureau of Land Management.
The BLM’s website says, “Born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyo., Pendley received B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics and political science from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, after which he received his J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law, where he was senior editor on Land and Water Law Review.
“Pendley served as an attorney to former Sen. Clifford P. Hansen, R-Wyo., and to the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. During the Reagan Administration, he served as deputy assistant secretary for energy and minerals of the Department of Interior, where he authored President Reagan’s National Minerals Policy and Exclusive Economic Zone proclamation. Pendley was a consultant to former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman, Jr., and was engaged in the private practice of law in the Washington, D.C., area before his return to the West in 1989 to become president of the Mountain States Legal Foundation for nearly 30 years.”
Pendley had been an attorney at the Pendley law firm foundation and worked with the Mountain States Legal Foundation from March 1989 to December 2018. Before that he was a partner at Comisky and Hunt.
According to a website called Department of Influence, “Pendley previously worked at the Interior Department from 1982 to March 1984. Before being nominated to be assistant secretary for energy and minerals of the Interior Department in June 1983, Pendley was the deputy assistant secretary of the Interior, Energy and Minerals. Before that he was acting director, Minerals Management Service, from 1982 to 1983. Prior to working at the Interior Department, Pendley was the minority counsel for the Mines and Mining Subcommittee, Interior and Insular Affairs, at the U.S. House of Representatives from 1978 to 1981. He was also a consultant to former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman. From 1976 to 1978 he worked as a legislative assistant for Sen. Clifford Hansen of Wyoming. From 1969 to 1973 Pendley served in the U.S. Marine Corps.”
Many media outlets criticized the announcement because of the opinion of Pendley and the Mountain States Legal Foundation that federal land could and should be sold.
In a 2014 opinion piece, titled, “Westerners are tired of having Uncle Sam for a landlord,” Pendley commented on the Endangered Species Act, “Many environmentalists view all federal lands as their private playground, off limits to productive activity. On their own behalf, these groups use the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act — which has been called ‘the pit bull of environmental law’ — and endless rule-making over federal land planning to kill or prevent anybody from making a living on federal land.”
Pendley has not been approved by the Senate, which has many of his opponents up in arms.
Other delegations made in the same announcement include:
• Deputy Secretary to Kate MacGregor, Deputy Chief of Staff
• Solicitor to Daniel Jorjani, Principal Deputy Solicitor
• Special Trustee for American Indians to Jerold Gidner, Principal Deputy Special Trustee for American Indians
• Director, National Park Service to P. Daniel Smith, Deputy Director, National Park Service
Secretary Bernhardt’s order said, “This Order is effective immediately. It will automatically expire for each vacant non-career position when filled by a Senate-confirmed appointee, upon the subsequent designation of acting officials, or a subsequent delegation to alternate officials. In the absence of the foregoing actions, it will terminate on Sept. 30, 2019, unless extended modified or revoked. ❖