BLM William Perry Pendley ML 110719

William Perry Pendley, acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, is in Grand Junction this week to meet with assistant and state BLM directors. Some staff will start working at the new headquarters location in Grand Junction in January, he said.

William Perry Pendley wants to make something clear.

If it were up to the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, he'd be joining the ranks of its employees being moved from Washington, D.C., out West.

More specifically, he'd love to move to Grand Junction and to assume the role of the BLM's official rather than acting director.

"Oh sure," Pendley said in an interview Thursday when asked if he's interested in being appointed BLM director.

"But that's a decision for the White House," he noted.

The BLM director is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. President Trump hasn't nominated a BLM director during his term in office, instead relying on a series of acting directors.

Pendley is the agency's deputy director for policy and programs, and currently serves as acting director.

In that latter role, he has been overseeing the BLM's relocation of Washington jobs out West. And that's led to that situation he wants to clarify.

"Some people have said that Pendley's part of making this move happen, but he himself is not going to move to Colorado. That's simply because my job as deputy director of policy and programs is not assigned to Grand Junction," he said.

That job is one of 61 the  agency has decided it needs to keep in the nation's capital as part of its reorganization.

But it's not as if Pendley wouldn't rather live and work out west. As a matter of fact, he continues to own a home in Evergreen, Colorado. His wife lives there, while he took an apartment in Washington this year upon joining the BLM.

Pendley was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and said he has lived most of his life in the West.

"I've hike and biked and hunted and fished and camped, done all sorts of things in the West," he said. "… I love the West."

If Pendley ended up becoming the BLM director, he'd be based in Grand Junction.

"I think that's awesome. I prefer to live in Grand Junction as director of the BLM than live in Washington, there's absolutely no question about that," he said.

He said people working with him commute an hour and 15 minutes each way.

"Here in Grand Junction you're 10 minutes away from your residence, and you're in proximity to all sorts of recreational opportunities," he said.

As to what if any prospects there may be of Trump nominating Pendley for the job, "all I can say is it's up to the White House," he said.

Pendley is an attorney who was deputy assistant secretary of energy and minerals for the Interior Department under President Reagan. In 1989 he returned to the West to become president of the conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation.

If nominated to be BLM director, he would be a controversial choice. Even as acting director he has drawn criticism over positions he previously has espoused on issues such as climate change and public lands disposal. But he has said that his past positions are immaterial to his current job, which involves following the orders and direction laid out by the Trump administration, and working on behalf of the public.

These days, this attorney says, "my client is the American people."

He said President Trump has restored a good relationship with western states.

"I think President Trump is the best president for westerners since Reagan and probably better than Reagan since he has more to work with," Pendley said.

He said that's because Trump has had a chance to make changes to policies made by the Obama and Clinton administrations, as a result opening up public lands to more oil and gas leasing to the benefit of local communities, and increasing recreational opportunities.

agency has decided it needs to keep in the nation's capital as part of its reorganization.

But it's not as if Pendley wouldn't rather live and work out West.

As a matter of fact, he continues to own a home in Evergreen. His wife lives there, while he took an apartment in Washington this year upon joining the BLM.

Pendley was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and said he has lived most of his life in the West.

"I've hike and biked and hunted and fished and camped, done all sorts of things in the West," he said. "… I love the West."

If Pendley ended up becoming the BLM director, he'd be based in Grand Junction.

"I think that's awesome. I prefer to live in Grand Junction as director of the BLM than live in Washington, there's absolutely no question about that," he said.

He said people working with him commute an hour and 15 minutes each way.

"Here in Grand Junction you're 10 minutes away from your residence, and you're in proximity to all sorts of recreational opportunities," he said.

As to what if any prospects there may be of Trump nominating Pendley for the job, "all I can say is it's up to the White House," he said.

Pendley is an attorney who was deputy assistant secretary of energy and minerals for the Interior Department under President Reagan.

In 1989 he returned to the West to become president of the conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation.

If nominated to be BLM director, he would be a controversial choice.

Even as acting director he has drawn criticism over positions he previously has espoused on issues such as climate change and public lands disposal.

But he has said that his past positions are immaterial to his current job, which involves following the orders and direction laid out by the Trump administration, and working on behalf of the public.

These days, this attorney says, "my client is the American people."

He said President Trump has restored a good relationship with Western states.

"I think President Trump is the best president for Westerners since Reagan and probably better than Reagan since he has more to work with," Pendley said.

He said that's because Trump has had a chance to make changes to policies made by the Obama and Clinton administrations, as a result opening public lands to more oil and gas leasing to the benefit of local communities, and increasing recreational opportunities.

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