Clear conflict of interest

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The recent appointment of William Perry Pendley as acting director of the Bureau of Land Management should deeply trouble all Montanans who love our public lands. Mr. Perry is an outspoken advocate for selling off all public lands, including places like Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and the Flathead National Forest, places vital to our heritage, our way of life, and our economy, especially here in Northwest Montana.

Equally troubling is Mr. Pendley’s long-standing defense of oil and gas drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area south of Glacier Park, an area rich in wildlife as well as sacred to the Blackfeet people. Until last month, Mr. Pendley represented one of the oil company’s suing the federal government for the right to drill in this ecologically and culturally irreplaceable landscape. Now as the acting director of BLM, Mr. Pendley the plaintiff has become the defendant. This is a clear conflict of interest and our senators must ensure, at a minimum, that Mr. Pendley is recused from matters involving the Badger

Moreover, Mr. Pendley should be removed from his position as acting director of BLM as his ideological views make him unfit to lead America’s largest land management agency. But so far only Senator Tester has taken action. Senator Daines has not. Please urge Senator Daines to demand Mr. Pendley’s recusal.

Our incredible public lands deserve someone who will steward them wisely for the benefit of all Americans, not someone who wants to recklessly exploit them and sell them to the highest bidder. The future of the Badger, Glacier, the Bob, and all the other public lands we love, depend on us speaking up.

Peter Metcalf, Whitefish

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