Gianforte Silent as Anti-Public Lands Zealot William Perry Pendley’s Nomination Advances

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

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Gianforte Silent as Anti-Public Lands Zealot William Perry Pendley’s Nomination Advances

Helena, MT – Last week, President Trump announced his intent to nominate anti-public lands zealot William Perry Pendley to be the Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Despite the threat posed to Montana’s public lands by Pendley’s nomination, Greg Gianforte has remained silent. 

As it turns out, William Perry Pendley and Greg Gianforte have a lot in common. 

Both men have each worked to personally undermine access to public lands – Gianforte sued the state of Montana to block access to a stream adjacent to one of his several properties, and Pendley sued Montana to overturn the entire Stream Access Law.

Pendley has written in support of selling off all federally owned land and opening federal lands for mining and oil and gas development, including in the Badger-Two Medicine region, where he represented the company fighting to drill on revered Montana lands. Likewise, Gianforte supports development on public lands and opposes buying any new land for state parks or fishing access sites.

Pendley’s appointment to the BLM has been opposed by “more than 100 conservation organizations,” including several based in Montana, which said, “Mr. Pendley has spent his entire adult life arguing against the need for public lands and has even stood up for extremists armed against the very people he now manages.” Similarly, Greg Gianforte’s legislation to remove protections for nearly 700,000 acres of public lands – without public input – was described by conservation advocates as “the single biggest rollback of protected public lands in Montana history.”

“Greg Gianforte and William Perry Pendley are two peas in a pod. No wonder Greg Gianforte can’t bring himself to condemn Pendley’s nomination,” said MDP Deputy Communications Director Matt Fidel. “Gianforte loves bragging about his relationships in D.C. – he should put them to use to do the right thing for Montana and speak out against Pendley’s nomination. Montana’s outdoor heritage is at stake.”


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