Trump to withdraw William Perry Pendley’s nomination as Bureau of Land Management chief |

Trump to withdraw William Perry Pendley’s nomination as Bureau of Land Management chief

The White House did not offer an explanation for the decision, which is not expected to become official until the Senate returns to session

Gene Johnson / Associated Press
William Perry Pendley, acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, speaks to the media on the Grizzly Creek Fire Friday in Eagle.
Christopher Dillman / Vail Daily

President Donald Trump intends to withdraw the nomination of William Perry Pendley to head the Bureau of Land Management, a senior administration official said Saturday — much to the relief of environmentalists who insisted the longtime advocate of selling federal lands should not be overseeing them.

Pendley, a former oil industry and property rights attorney from Wyoming, has been acting as the director of the agency for more than a year under a series of temporary orders from Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. Democrats alleged the temporary orders were an attempt to skirt the nomination process, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and conservation groups have filed lawsuits to have Pendley removed from office.

Pendley was in Colorado on Friday speaking to reporters about the Grizzly Creek fire burning near Glenwood Springs. The blaze has scorched some BLM land.

Colorado’s Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner was facing pressure over Pendley’s nomination. He had refused to say if he would vote for him to lead the BLM.

“I look forward to a nomination process where we will have a lot of questions for Mr. Pendley,” Gardner told The Colorado Sun in recent weeks.

Gardner is facing a difficult reelection bid this year and his Democratic opponent, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, had attacked his refusal to speak out against Pendley’s nomination.

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