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Analysis: What's next in the saga of USBLM leadership?

You could be standing in a dozen different Western states and view landscapes where decisions on how they will be stewarded are linked to one political appointee—William Perry Pendley. From the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to national monuments in Utah and many other corners of the West, Pendley's fingerprint of influence is vast.

But here, the breathtaking view from the rim above Unaweep Canyon is what Erik Molvar remembers best from his trip last spring to western Colorado. Surrounded by the heady perfume of pinon and juniper, he saw red-rock cliffs rising from the green valley and heard the gentle music of dusk settling on the wild landscape of the Uncompahgre Plateau. Then a jarring thought spoiled his reverie. Oil and gas rigs could fill this scene by the next time he returned.

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