The nomination of William Perry Pendley to serve in the permanent position of Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is not a surprise. Pendley has served as acting head of the BLM since July 2019.
Under this administration there has not been a Director of the BLM, just a revolving door of action Deputies. Each one of them left under a pile of ethics complaints. The nomination of Pendley has arrived not only under a pile of complaints, but legal action against his position that alleges, not only the vast conflicts of interest, but the illegality of his tenure. There are many that see his appointment as a paperwork process to attempt to avoid any negative ruling from the court system, nothing more.
By announcing this intention to nominate Pendley, the process has made it possible for the U.S. Senate to hold confirmation hearings.
You can push for some “truth telling” during that hearing. It’s a chance for advocates to demand that the absurd position of Pendley on wild horses (that wild horses are the greatest threat to public lands) be addressed for what it is; the bidding of his former employers and others on his recusal list.
The odds of having a real hearing, with pointed questions and requests for information, is pretty good. As an example; both New Mexico Senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, are on record against his confirmation.
Below is a video of Heinrich grilling former Deputy Director John Ruhs (now BLM state director in Idaho, formerly state director of NV) over basic factual errors during a hearing on National Monuments. This is the same committee that would need to vet and hold a hearing on a permanent appointment of Pendley.
It is more than probable that all Senate committee members will receive an avalanche of pertinent information from all environmental (public lands) organizations. The hearings have a “pop the popcorn” factor as the conflicts of interest, the actions and statements made by Pendley, are so outrageous and extreme. Pendley is openly outright “anti” public lands and their protection, has carried out actions for former clients that he lost in court (as an attorney) and more.
Over the last few years those that work in the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have been walking on eggshells in fear of their jobs. Valid and obvious complaints have been either dismissed or simply handed over to the offending parties for “internal review” (including complaints involving wild horses against multiple former deputy directors and Pendley himself).
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are stalled, or sit unanswered, that dig into relationships in the “buddy club” of BLM and the officials and employees that facilitate BLM operating more like a social club than a federal land management agency.
Addressing the Society for Environmental Journals (SEJ) shortly after he was appointed as yet another “deputy with acting authority of the director,” Pendley called wild horses the greatest “existential threat to our public lands” (yes, he said that). “They are causing havoc on the land,” said Pendley who mentioned a BLM report on the animals. “They say some land in the West is so devastated and destroyed and it will never recover.”
What no one tells you is that the BLM report he mentions was literally crafted by his predecessor Brian Steed (who went directly from his chair as Chief of Staff for Chris Stewart (Congressman from Utah to sit as deputy with acting authority) who literally handed off a “report” crafted by a hand-picked coalition comprising a “who is who” cast directly from the 17-page recusal list of Pendley.
This is the exact “report” the additional $21 million, from the 2020 budget, is rooted in. The acceleration of the roundup machine, without any on-range management, is set to begin later this week. The entire basis for the continued push in the 2021 budget that will decimate our wild herds, is an agenda those on the recusal list have been after for years. This effort will not fix any actual problem, like trespass livestock and the continued lack of actual management, it will collapse the program and overload the capacity of holding facilities opening the doors to open slaughter. Under Pendley BLM has already amped up the sale program and more and more mustangs are hitting kill auction houses.
This hearing is not only an opportunity to grill Pendley on his absolute corrupt use of his office, but to tie it to the disastrous plan heading toward our wild horses and burros. Under Pendley BLM should be given no new funding to facilitate the wishes of the “Stewart Alliance.”
Wild Horse Education has sent off a packet to key committee members yesterday that includes information on Pendleys connection to the corruption in the underbelly of the BLM wild horse and burro program. We did include the complaint filed, that was one of the vast number of complaints the OIG has failed to investigate filed by many environmental interests, on the connection between those on his recusal list and “Path Forward” alliance that essentially crafted the “BLM report.” (HERE)
We will update you when we get notification of a hearing date.
You can contact committee members (particularly if you live in their districts) and voice your desire to have them include the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program as they vet, and hold a hearing on, the permanent appointment of William Perry Pendley (committee here).
A partial reading list for those following the corruption: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2020/01/18/reference-library-for-those-digging-into-corruption/
Categories: Wild Horse Education