- The 10 Republican members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee signed a letter Wednesday calling on President Joe Biden to withdraw his nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management.
- The letter said Tracy Stone-Manning’s involvement in an 1989 eco-terrorism incident, as well as her “false and misleading statements” to their committee about the incident, should disqualify her from leading the agency.
- “We do not make this request lightly,” the senators told Biden.
The 10 Republican members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee signed a letter Wednesday calling on President Joe Biden to withdraw his nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management in a letter Wednesday over her involvement in a 1989 eco-terrorism incident.
The senators said Tracy Stone-Manning’s involvement in the 1989 tree-spiking incident, as well as her “false and misleading statements” to their committee about the incident, should disqualify her from leading an agency that manages close to 65 million acres of forests and woodlands across the country.
“We do not make this request lightly,” the senators wrote in their letter to Biden. “Ms. Stone-Manning has made false and misleading statements in a sworn statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources … regarding her activities associated with an eco-terrorist cell whose tree spiking in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest in 1989 put lives at risk.”
“We believe that Ms. Stone-Manning’s false and misleading statements, as well as her extremist activities, disqualify her from serving as Director of this important agency,” the senators added. “Any individual who leads this important agency must have the faith and trust of the American people. Ms. Stone-Manning has violated this trust.”
Stone-Manning will need to secure the vote of every Democratic member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in order for her nomination to move forward. A committee vote for her nomination has not yet been scheduled.
The senators added in their letter that former President Barack Obama’s Bureau of Land Management director, Bob Abbey, redacted his support of Stone-Manning in June, saying her involvement in the tree spiking incident “should disqualify her” from leading the agency.
“BLM needs a really strong leader,” Abbey said. “To put someone in that position that has this type of resume will just bring needless controversy that is not good for the agency or for the public lands.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported that Stone-Manning received legal immunity to testify in a 1993 criminal trial that she mailed an anonymous and threatening letter to the Forest Service in 1989 on behalf of her former roommate and friend warning that a local forest in Idaho set to be logged had been sabotaged with tree spikes.
Tree spiking, which multiple news outlets have described as an “eco-terrorism” tactic, is a form of sabotage in which metal spikes are nailed into trees to make them unsafe to log. If gone unnoticed, tree spikes can cause serious injuries for workers, such as when a 23-year-old mill worker in California had his jaw cut in half in 1987 when his saw exploded upon striking an unnoticed tree spike.
Stone-Manning told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in writing in May that she had never been the target of a federal criminal investigation, but numerous news reports, accounts of federal law enforcement officials and statements from Stone-Manning herself at the time of the incident strongly suggest she was a target of the federal government’s investigation into the 1989 tree spiking incident.
The White House has remained supportive of Stone-Manning’s nomination despite the blowback.
“Tracy Stone-Manning is a dedicated public servant who has years of experience and a proven track record of finding solutions and common ground when it comes to our public lands and waters. She is exceptionally qualified to be the next Director of the Bureau of Land Management,” a White House official previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.