Trump Nixes Controversial Nominee to Bureau of Land Management

President Donald Trump plans to withdraw the nomination of William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management, a senior administration official said on Saturday.

Pendley has functionally led the bureau since mid-2019 as deputy director for policy and programs. Conservation groups had lambasted his positions on a number of issues, including his long-held stance that the federal government shouldn’t own land.

His confirmation was already in doubt amid wavering support among Republicans on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which would have considered the nomination.

Outdoor Lifeearlier reported the withdrawal, which won’t become official until the Senate is back in session.

A spokesman for the Department of the Interior said in a statement that Pendley, 75, continues to lead the bureau, which has oversight of almost 250 million acres of public lands.

Several conservation groups lauded the expected withdrawal of the nomination, as did Democratic lawmakers, whowrote to Trump this week opposing Pendley.

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“The fact that he was nominated this June and not withdrawn until millions of Americans and elected officials spoke out illustrates the wrongheaded priorities of this administration,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.

Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, said of the withdrawal of Pendley’s nomination that “it’s hard to imagine a worse pick than someone who doesn’t believe in public lands and has a history of racism against Native Americans.”

The ranking Democrat on the Senate energy panel, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, urged the selection of “someone with a deep appreciation for our public lands.”

— With assistance by Mario Parker

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