Citing embattled federal lands chief, environmentalists want plan for southwest Colorado tossed
Environmental organizations filed a lawsuit Tuesday that seeks to overturn a plan for public lands in southwestern Colorado, saying it was approved while William Perry Pendley headed the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and a federal court has ruled that his tenure was unlawful.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Colorado, amends an earlier complaint that challenged the BLM’s approval of a plan to open up more public land in the southwest part of the state to oil and gas drilling. It follows a decision earlier this month by a federal judge that threw out three BLM land-use plans in Montana.
The judge, Brian Morris, ruled in September that Pendley served unlawfully as the acting BLM director. Morris said Pendley served in that role for 424 days, violating a federal law that caps at 210 days the time an acting director can serve in a position that requires Senate confirmation.
And any action taken by a person serving as an acting director in violation of the law “shall have no force or effect,” Morris said. Montana Gov Steve Bullock, who challenged Pendley’s tenure, asked the judge to block the land-use plans in his state.
Read more via the Denver Post.
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