The Show on KJZZ

The Controversial Tenure Of Acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 1:06pm
Updated: Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 5:36pm

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William Perry Pendley
Bret Jaspers/KJZZ
William Perry Pendley at a conference for environmental journalists in Colorado in 2019.

The Bureau of Land Management does exactly that — the federal agency is the steward of the public lands that make up much of the West — 38% of Arizona is federally owned.

The agency has operated without an officially nominated director since the beginning of the Trump administration, and it has been helmed unofficially by an appointee of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

That appointee, William Perry Pendley, has had a contentious relationship with the bureau he has led since 2017 and last week, Secretary Bernhardt extended the tenure of Pendley.

Elaine Zielinski, a board member of the Public Lands Foundation, a nonprofit organization advocating for the preservation of federal lands, joined The Show to unpack the arrangement. Zielinski is also a former BLM state director for Arizona.

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