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Two recent agency appointments applauded by miners and other public land users

August 26, 2019

by Scott Harn, Editor/Publisher

In case you missed it, we recently reported that William Perry Pendley, a staunch property rights activist and former founder of Mountain States Legal Foundation, was appointed as director of policy and research at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Less than three weeks into his new job, Pendley was appointed as acting director of BLM by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Pendley has fought the federal government on behalf of ranchers, loggers and miners, including the filing of an amicus brief in support of California suction gold dredger Brandon Rinehart when the case was under review by the US Supreme Court.

I've had face-to-face discussions with Pendley on several occasions while in Washington, DC, over the past four years. He is extremely sharp and a welcome addition in his new role as the head of BLM.

Another appointment, just announced today, is Rob Gordon as an advisor to the director of the US Geological Survey.

Gordon has been a vocal critic of the Endangered Species Act. In a report he authored in 2018, Gordon stated, "The ESA is so ineffective that taxpayer dollars are used to fabricate successes—and many species now listed should be removed from the list as mistakes or extinct."

I met Gordon in DC last year when he gave a presentation about the failures of the ESA. I am certain he will do his best to reel in some of the ridiculous decisions issued in the recent past related to critical habitat. 

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