Tracy Stone-Manning, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the next director of the U.S Bureau of Land Management, ran into significant opposition during hearings held to vet her nomination due to her past ties to the eco-terrorist group Earth First!
Stone-Manning held various positions in the office of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) from 2007 to 2012, served as director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality from 2013 to 2014, and most recently served as a senior advisor for conservation policy to the National Wildlife Federation.
Early Extreme Eco-Activism
Stone-Manning’s recent work history is not what has stalled her nomination. Rather it is her ties to the eco-terrorist group Earth First! that has lead Republicans to demand Biden to withdraw her nomination.
Stone-Manning anonymously mailed a threatening letter to the Forest Service in 1989 on behalf of her former roommate warning that a federal forest in Idaho due to be logged had been sabotaged with tree spikes. The letter concluded saying, “P.S. You bastards go in there anyway and a lot of people could get hurt.”
Tree spiking is a form of sabotage in which metal spikes are nailed into trees making them unsafe to log. Unnoticed tree spikes have injured loggers in the past when the chain saws they were using struck the spikes, causing the chains to explode.
‘Undertaking Violence Against … Americans’
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) called on Biden to withdraw Stone-Manning’s nomination to lead BLM in June Senate hearings.
“BLM is an incredibly important and very powerful Federal Agency, particularly as it relates to … the great State of Alaska … [where] it manages more surface and subsurface acres in my State than in any other State in the country, by far,” Sullivan said. “And it is imperative–imperative–for the Director of this Agency, the Bureau of Land Management, with so much power and so much control over my State and its future in economic opportunity for working Alaskan families–that the manager of BLM for the country be trustworthy–to be honest, to be fairminded, to be beyond reproach, and, certainly, not to have been involved in an organization that perpetuated violence against its fellow Americans.
“And from what we know about Tracy Stone-Manning, she is none of these things–trustworthy, honest, and fairminded,” said Sullivan. “[W]hat is shocking beyond surprising is that the President of the United States would put forward someone for this incredibly important position in BLM who is not only far left but a member of a group that was an ecoterrorist organization, a group that was undertaking violence against their fellow Americans so they could make a point on environmental issues in America.”
Obama BLM Director Opposes
It isn’t only Sullivan and other Republicans denouncing Stone-Manning’s nomination. The day after Senate hearings into her nomination, Bob Abbey, BLM director during the Obama administration, issued statement saying Stone-Manning’s nomination should be withdrawn.
Abbey said Stone-Manning’s involvement the criminal tree-spiking incident on the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho in 1989 is enough to disqualify her from leading BLM.
“As a 30-year BLM career employee, I don’t take her actions lightly, nor should anyone else,” said Abbey. “If Stone-Manning participated in any aspect of planning, implementation or cover-up in the spiking of trees, then she should not be confirmed.”
Evidence indicates Stone-Manning may have lied during the Senate hearings into her nomination. She testified she had never been the subject of a federal criminal investigation, yet federal law enforcement records indicate she was a target of the investigation into the tree spiking incident during its initial stages and received legal immunity to testify in the 1993 criminal trial arising from it.
Too Hot to Handle
Although Democrats have a long history of canonizing dangerous left-wing criminals, Stone-Manning’s history with a dangerous eco-terrorist organization may prove too much for even Biden to abide, says Merrill Matthews, Ph.D. a resident scholar at The Institute for Policy Innovation.
“Barack Obama had a longtime relationship with radical leftist Bill Ayres, and many Democrats defend, or at least don’t criticize, Hamas when it sends rockets into Israel,” Matthews said. “Now President Biden has nominated a person associated with the eco-terrorist group Earth First!
“Sometimes former radicals are rehabilitated, but that doesn’t mean they should be put in positions of power,” Matthews said. “If the outrage against Tracy Stone-Manning continues, I expect President Biden will pull the nomination because it would be a huge and on-going distraction Biden doesn’t need, especially since it would cast a shadow over every decision coming out of BLM.”
Biden needs committed leftists in his administration to back up his decisions to cancel pipelines, restrict drilling on federal lands and offshore, and ignore the environmental challenges created by wind turbine and solar farm expansion, but he doesn’t need people whose motives and integrity are constantly—and understandably—under attack, says Matthews.
“He can easily find other environmentalists who are equally committed to his agenda without the eco-terrorist baggage,” Matthews said.
Did You Expect Anything Less?
Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination is not unexpected, says Jay Lehr, Ph.D., senior policy advisor with the International Climate Science Coalition.
“Stone-Manning’s nomination by Biden to lead BLM is no surprise,” said Lehr. “Stone-Manning is, as are so many of Biden’s appointments, an avowed communist intent on eliminating human freedoms and increasing government control over every aspect of our lives.
“This individual with a history of terrorism in our forests would ensure the public gets little or no access to all federal lands,” said Lehr.
Kenneth Artz (email@example.com) writes from Dallas, Texas.