AWHC Reacts to Pendley Nomination Withdrawal

Davis, California (August 15, 2020) .... The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) today hailed the Trump Administration's decision to withdraw the nomination of William Perry Pendley as director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), issuing the following statement:

William Perry Pendley has spent his career working to sell off America's public lands to private industry and was the worst choice possible to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is the steward of 245 million acres of public lands primarily located in the American West. 

As acting BLM director, Pendley absurdly called America's beloved wild horses an existential threat to the public lands, when these iconic animals are not even present on 88 percent of the lands his agency manages. Pendley's brazen scapegoating of wild horses for environmental damage caused by livestock grazing and other commercial industries drew scorn from conservationists and wild horse advocates alike.

Under Pendley’s leadership, the BLM submitted a deadly plan to Congress to brutally round up 90,000 wild horses and burros -- as many as exist today -- from public lands over the next five years at a cost to taxpayers in excess of $1 billion. 

“America's wild horses and everyone who loves them are breathing a sigh of relief today at the news that the Trump Administration has withdrawn Pendley's nomination as Director of the BLM,”  said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director of the AWHC. “It’s time for new leadership at the BLM that will heed the urgent calls for change and reform the woefully mismanaged Wild Horse and Burro Program. It's time to implementi humane, sustainable and scientific management practices that reflect the wishes of 80 percent of Americans who want these national icons protected on our public lands.”

According to AWHC, the U.S. House of Representatives sent a strong message to the BLM by adopting an amendment to Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations legislation that would require the agency to spend $11 million on scientifically recommended fertility control to manage horses in the wild as an alternative to cruelly rounding them up and removing them from their habitats on western public lands. 

The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) is the nation's leading wild horse protection organization, with more than 700,000 supporters and followers nationwide. AWHC is dedicated to preserving the American wild horse and burros in viable, free-roaming herds for generations to come, as part of our national heritage. In addition to advocating for protection and preservation of America's wild herds, AWHC implements the largest wild horse fertility control program in the world through a partnership with the State of Nevada for wild horses that live in the Virginia Range near Reno.

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