Montana Public Radio

William Perry Pendley

Montana Candidates Highlight Flip-Flops, Public Lands And China

Jul 24, 2020

New ads in Montana's U.S. Senate race target the candidates' election year flip-flops. And candidates in the Senate and gubernatorial races try to make the case that they're the best steward of Montana's public lands.

Listen now on Campaign Beat, with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

BLM Deputy Director William Perry Pendley, retrieved 07.21.20
Bureau of Land Management

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester joined a half dozen other Democrats Tuesday in calling for Congress to schedule a hearing on the Trump administration’s pick to lead the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The letter signed by Tester and others comes a day after Montana Gov. Steve Bullock sued BLM, alleging William Perry Pendley has been leading the agency illegally.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in central Montana
BLM (PD)

A lawsuit filed by Gov. Steve Bullock in federal court Monday alleges that Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director William Perry Pendley is violating federal law by exercising the authority of the bureau’s director while awaiting confirmation from the Senate.

The Bureau of Land Management's new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colo., is a long 1,900 miles away from Washington, D.C.

In the small western Colorado city, it's impossible to ignore you are surrounded by federal public land: the towering mesas, red rock canyons and the Colorado National Monument.

Fly fisherman stock photo.
iStock

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. land managers say they will release by mid-March a priority list of federal lands that need but don’t have public access.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials said they want people to nominate lands where the public could legally hunt, fish or pursue other recreational purposes, except the lands have limited or no access.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Wilderness advocates and a Texas oil company agreed Tuesday to end an oil and gas lease on land considered sacred to the Blackfeet Nation. The settlement permanently removes all but one of the development leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area.

During Sen. Steve Daines’ stops in Missoula and Kalispell Monday, he was asked whether he supports the Bureau of Land Management's acting Director, William Perry Pendley. Pendley’s past support for the sale of public lands concerns many, but Daines called that concern “overblown.” 

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

A newly appointed Bureau of Land Management official needs to recuse himself from decisions related to the Badger-Two Medicine area because he has a conflict of interest. That's according to according to the environmental group Earthjustice.

Map of Solenex lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Associated Press today that the federal government plans to appeal a federal court ruling allowing oil and gas drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area outside Glacier National Park.

The Badger-Two Medicine is the site of the creation story for the Blackfoot Tribes, and is located on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, adjacent to the Blackfeet Reservation.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A federal judge has reinstated an oil and gas lease on land in northwestern Montana considered sacred to some Native American tribes.