County commissioner says BLM minimizing public’s opportunity for input
By Judiith Kohler | The Denver Post
Acting Bureau of Land Management Director William Perry Pendley, speaking at a conference Friday, insisted that moving his agency’s headquarters to Colorado will make the staff more responsive to the public despite concerns that public involvement is being curtailed.
Pendley, a longtime Colorado resident and attorney who has argued against federal lands protections, spoke at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference in Fort Collins. He said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt wants to move the BLM’s top executives to the West to ensure the public is heard on decisions on public lands.
“The decsion-makers in Washington, that’s where it’s centralized. And I’m afraid they’re out of touch with what’s going on out on the land,” Pendley said.
He said 222 positions in Washington, D.C., will move out to the states where the BLM lands are to do “headquarters work in the states.”
“And I think what it’s going to do is allow us to be closer to the people, closer to the ground. We’ll be able to make earlier, better-informed decisions based on the realities on the ground,” Pendley added.