Press Release

301 groups reject Pendley nomination

William Perry Pendley, acting director of the Bureau of Land Management

William Perry Pendley, acting director of the Bureau of Land Management


Pendley should be rejected by Senate for leading Interior position, 301 groups

Today, 301 organizations, Tribes, and businesses sent a letter to members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee opposing the nomination of William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In the letter, civil rights organizations, Tribes, and environmental groups highlight Pendley’s long history of climate denial, his bigoted and extremist views and actions, and his commitment to selling off America’s public lands to fossil fuel companies.

After illegally serving as acting director of BLM since July 2019, Pendley was finally formally nominated by the Trump Administration on June 30, 2020. A hearing on Pendley’s nomination has not yet been scheduled.

The signers of the letter --  representing millions of members and supporters across the country -- urge members of the Committee to swiftly reject the nomination because “Mr. Pendley’s public record over decades both in and outside of government have made abundantly clear that he is abjectly unfit to lead any government agency and particularly the BLM.”

Below please find select quotes from signers of the letter.  A full list of statements can be found here and a document detailing his history can be found here.

For more information, contact Nolan Bush at, (425) 780-0237; or Tony Iallonardo at 

Dan Hartinger, National Monuments Campaign Director at The Wilderness Society

William Perry Pendley comes from the ideological fringes of society and is a racist with values that are deeply out of touch with the mainstream, including selling the very lands he’s charged with managing. He’s the worst possible person you could conjure to be a leading steward of our shared public lands, and his appointment betrays this administration’s approach to conservation. It denies science, attacks communities when they are hurting, and acts almost solely to benefit special interests. The Senate should send a clear message that is resoundingly rejects Pendley and the extremist views he espouses.

Hilary Shelton, Senior VP for Policy and Advocacy and Director of the Washington Bureau, NAACP

“William Perry Pendley’s history of bigoted remarks targeting communities of color and opposition to initatives to make our country’s institutions reflect the diversity of its people disqualify him from serving in a position of public trust. Our nation is in the midst of a movement demanding an end to systemic racism, and letting someone with Pendley’s divisive views manage a federal agency that should work for everyone is a step in the absolute wrong direction. The Senate faces a moral choice: confirm a bigoted and divisve extremist or stand in solidarity with the American people who want our government and our public lands accessible to all. We oppose Pendley’s nomination and call on our elected officials to reject him immediately.

John Echohawk, Pawnee, Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund

“We oppose the nomination of William Perry Pendley for Director of the Bureau of Land Management. Mr. Pendley’s long, racist, anti-science, and anti-conservation record speaks for itself and it is truly disqualifying. From mocking Native American religious beliefs and sacred sites to siding with anti-public land extremists and spreading racist tropes, his beliefs are deeply offensive. As tribes across the country continue to fight to maintain their land, natural resources, and sovereignty, this nomination is a slap across the face.

Blaine Miller-McFeeley, Senior Legislative Representative of Earthjustice

“We can’t afford a walking, talking conflict of interest with a history of incendiary, racist statements as the director of the Bureau of Land Management. From when he resigned from office in disgrace to his efforts to sell off our lands to the highest bidder, Pendley has a decades-long record of putting polluters’ profits over our wild lands. The Senate must reject his nomination.

Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation

“It’s utterly unconscionable that President Trump nominated William Perry Pendley—a person who has spent decades zealously promoting the sale of all public lands, espousing racist and homophobic views, and denigrating public servants—to oversee our nation’s largest land management agency, responsible for 247 million acres and 11,000 staff. Senators simply cannot call themselves conservation champions, if they support his confirmation.”

Ángel Peña, Executive Director of the Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project

“The nomination of William Perry Pendley to serve as Director of the Bureau of Land Management is an affront to Latinx communities across the country. No one who has advocated for the disposal of public lands, called immigration a ‘cancer,’ or opposed efforts to increase racial equity should be a public official -- yet Pendley has done all three. His long, well-known history of bigotry is disgusting and his anti-public lands positions would mean even fewer outdoor opportunities for Latinx families than the small number that currently exist. A vote in favor of Pendley’s nomination is an abdication of responsibility to our communities and is a clear approval of the Trump administration’s attacks on our public lands. The Senate must reject this nomination.”