House Natural Resources Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) urged the Department of the Interior to press pause on many of its public lands decisions after its Bureau of Land Management (BLM) de facto director was ousted by the courts.
The Department of the Interior responded by saying it would not be pushed to remove William Perry Pendley from the department.
A decision from U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris last month determined Pendley had “served unlawfully … for 424 days” and tossed major land management plans he oversaw in Montana.
Pendley, a controversial figure due in part to his history of opposing federal ownership of the lands he now manages, served at the department through a series of temporary orders, remaining in the job even after his formal nomination was withdrawn.
He now serves in a deputy director role, but in recent interviews he has given conflicting responses to the court