For any Montanan who hunts, fishes or otherwise recreates on our federal public lands, the recent move by the Trump administration to make William Perry Pendley the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) should send shivers down your spine.

Mr. Pendley is an ideological extremist who has argued that virtually all federal public lands should be transferred to the states, which would then sell them off to industrial developers and political donors. As acting director of the BLM, he will oversee a quarter billion acres of federal public lands in the western US that are home to elk, mule deer, sage grouse and wild trout.

Some of Montana’s most cherished public lands are managed by the BLM, including the Upper Missouri Wild and Scenic River corridor and portions of the Blackfoot River corridor near Missoula.

Sen. Jon Tester was quick to respond to Mr. Pendley’s appointment, calling it “a grave threat to the future of public lands.” He is dead right. Yet Sen. Steve Daines, who serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and has the president’s ear, has been silent.

With all due respect, sir, if you proclaim to be a defender of our public lands, now would be a good time to show it.

Scott Bosse