by WorldTribune Staff, January 2, 2020
Leftist environmentalists and other so-called progressive groups who are outraged over the Trump administration’s decision to move the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) out of Washington, D.C. are now demanding that the agency’s director step down.
By moving the agency to Grand Junction, Colorado, the Trump administration “seeks to bring public-lands decision-making closer to the Western communities tied to the 245 million acres managed by the BLM,” reporter Valerie Richardson wrote for The Washington Times on Dec. 30.
In a letter, the leftist groups on Monday demanded the resignation of William Perry Pendley, head of the BLM, as the agency prepares to relocate most of its staff out of the “swamp”.
The leftists are opposed to Pendley’s support for giving local law enforcement “primary responsibility” for enforcing state and local laws, and his role in leading the relocation of the BLM.
In the letter, the groups accused Pendley of “demoralizing career employees at the same time he is undermining the operational effectiveness of the agency.” The Interior Department said the letter was written by “environmental extremists.”
Richardson noted that among the signers of the letter “were well-known liberal environmental groups like the Western Watersheds Project, Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians, as well as progressive outfits like the Movement for a People’s Party and Maryland United for Peace and Justice, and the outdoor clothing company Patagonia.”
An Interior spokesperson in a statement: “For this group of environmental extremists to call themselves sportsmen and conservationists is as laughable as this letter. Mr. Pendley brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Department and is committed to carrying out the Administration’s priorities for the betterment of the American people.”
Along with moving BLM headquarters to Grand Junction, a town of 62,000 near the Utah border, the agency is moving other staff to offices in California, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming.
“Despite predictions that most staff would quit rather than leave the Beltway, about two-thirds of the 153 employees who received relocation letters have indicated they will move with their positions,” Richardson noted.