Trump’s BLM chief has a plan for housing: Sell off public lands

By Scott Streater | 06/27/2024 01:42 PM EDT

William Perry Pendley has long pushed for disposing the federal government of many of its protected lands in the West.

William Perry Pendley.

William Perry Pendley, who headed up then-President Donald Trump’s Bureau of Land Management from 2019 to 2021, wrote the Interior Department policy road map for Project 2025, which is meant to guide a second Trump administration. Francis Chung/E&E News

The conservative lawyer who once led the Bureau of Land Management during former President Donald Trump’s final two years in office wants to sell off federal lands, in pursuit of solving the housing crisis across the West.

William Perry Pendley said BLM should sell off “unused, unnecessary, and exorbitantly expensive to maintain” rangelands under its care as a possible solution to housing shortages in states like Nevada and Utah, where the federal government owns more than half the land.

“It is worth noting that the Biden administration has ended ‘multiple use’ of most BLM lands in favor of preservation, which has drawn lawsuits from Western attorneys general,” Pendley wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday in the Washington Examiner.


Given the housing shortage in fast-growing states like Nevada — where Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo has made “the timely release of public lands” overseen by BLM a top priority — Pendley wrote that “one question worthy of concern given current events is whether, on a case-by-case basis, we should dispose of or sell any of that federal land?”