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Grey Bull: Ideologues like Pendley must be avoided

Grey Bull: Ideologues like Pendley must be avoided

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You may have missed it, but Trump recently nominated acting Director William Perry Pendley to be the permanent head of the Bureau of Land Management. If elected to Congress, I will with all of my heart oppose his confirmation which, given Pendley’s resume, will no doubt be a contentious fight. Why? Well, where to even begin…

Pendley is not interested in building collective vision, but instead only in pushing his extreme agenda. In Oregon, he threw support behind the violent armed standoff between citizens and federal officers. In Arizona, he represented mining interests in the Grand Canyon. And in Montana, he advocated on behalf of oil and gas interests, who were licking their chops to drill the sacred Badger-Two Medicine area.

With some confused sort of logic, Pendley has even argued in the past explicitly that American citizens should not have access to federal public lands. Isn’t that their point?

We need to avoid appointing ideologues like Pendley to lead federal institutions. The reality is that our public lands, especially our federal public lands, are there for all Americans. That includes people with diverse backgrounds and interests — from hunters and anglers to mountain bikers and ATVers. And yes, especially in our state, oil and gas extraction will continue for a while to be a part of this equation. But in a beautifully problematic democracy like ours, balancing these divergent interests must be the job of our politicians who also must in some sense stick to their principles. The land must come first.

Willian Perry Pendley is not interested in even trying to have a balanced perspective, nor is he a man of any discernible conviction. He is just another corrupt politician bought out by Big Business in order to keep quarterly profits at an upward tick.

We Americans need to stand against such blatantly ideological hacks like Pendley. Here in Wyoming, a connection to land unites us. As a Northern Arapaho woman whose ancestors literally hunted mammoths here, I know this unifying truth in a way someone like William Perry Pendley never could. We Americans must oppose his appointment.



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