President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requested last year that the University of Montana restrict access to her controversial master’s thesis, which advocated for the creation of population control propaganda for environmental reasons.
The university’s digital initiatives librarian confirmed to Breitbart News on Friday that the embattled nominee, Tracy Stone-Manning, asked the school in June 2020 to limit access to the thesis, titled Into the heart of the beast | A case for environmental advertising, which Stone-Manning authored in 1992 for her master’s degree in Environmental Studies.
The restricted thesis itself made headlines on June 23, 2021, after the Daily Caller obtained a copy of it, which showed Stone-Manning advocating for U.S. population control propaganda through a series of advertisements intended to “tug at the root of many of our environmental horrors, overpopulation.”
The thesis on “environmental advertising” highlighted population control propaganda Stone-Manning created as a means to alleviate perceived stresses to the environment caused by humans. Stone-Manning wrote that her movement “desperately needs to use advertising’s ubiquitous power if it is to capture mainstream America.”
One advertisement stated, “When we have children, the planet feels it more. Do the truly smart thing. Stop at one or two kids,” while another read, “Stop at two. It could be the best thing you do for the planet.” The latter advertisement, which identified “overpopulation” as a “problem” in America, featured a photo of a child with the caption, “Can you find the environmental hazard in this photo?”
Breitbart News reached out to the University of Montana to obtain a copy of Stone-Manning’s thesis and discover why this document, in which the Biden nominee called a human child an “environmental hazard,” was restricted.
The university librarian sent an email back stating, “I am not able to provide you with a copy of this thesis because in June 2020 the author requested that we restrict access to current University of Montana campus members only.”
Internet archives show Stone-Manning’s thesis access page was updated on June 9, 2020, but that the thesis remained accessible to the public on that day. The next day that the Internet archive picked up activity on the thesis page does not come again until June 24, 2021 — the day after the Daily Caller report was published — at which point the page appeared with a new message on the righthand side of it stating, “This record is only available to users affiliated with the University of Montana.”
Asked about this discrepancy, the librarian said her “notes indicate that access was restricted on June 11, 2020.”
Amid her nomination, Stone-Manning has come under intense scrutiny over how she spent her graduate school days in Missoula, Montana, which was a hub for environmental activism in the 1980s and 1990s. During her time there, Stone-Manning belonged to the extremist group Earth First!, members of which committed acts of ecoterrorism such as tree spiking and property destruction. Stone-Manning herself became involved in a tree spiking case at the time.
As Breitbart News reported, in 1989, Stone-Manning mailed a profane letter to the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of John P. Blount, an individual in her “circle of friends,” alerting authorities that trees in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest that were scheduled to be cut down had been sabotaged with metal spikes to prevent them from being harvested. Tree spiking, as this form of sabotage is called, is both a crime and, according to the FBI’s definition, an act of ecoterrorism that can injure or kill loggers or millworkers processing the spiked trees.
After the Forest Service received the warning letter, Stone-Manning and six other individuals in Missoula were the target of a 1989 grand jury investigation for which they were subpoenaed and required to submit fingerprints and hair samples. However, the 1989 grand jury did not uncover enough evidence to charge Blount with a crime. The case was not solved until Blount’s ex-girlfriend reported him to authorities two years later, and in doing so, also named Stone-Manning as the person who mailed the letter for him. In exchange for immunity, Stone-Manning testified in a 1993 trial against Blount, who was convicted for the tree spiking crime and sentenced to 17 months in prison.
Former BLM Acting Director William Perry Pendley references interviews in which Stone-Manning admits she did not come forward about her knowledge of Blount’s 1989 tree spiking until her 1993 testimony.
Later, in 2013, Stone-Manning told the Missoulian that she ultimately left Earth First! because the group members were “angry.” She said, “Anger doesn’t do much. It doesn’t solve problems. What I do is solve problems.”
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee — the committee responsible for vetting the Biden nominee — has said he will oppose Stone-Manning’s nomination because of her involvement in the tree spiking case, and because she reported inaccuracies about the case on her Senate committee hearing questionnaire.
“Tracy Stone-Manning covered up for those eco-terrorists, setting back the investigation by years, and she only cooperated with authorities when she was caught,” Barrasso observed, adding that “she then lied to the Senate Committee about the incident. There is no way that she should direct an agency that oversees almost 65 million acres of forest.”
Stone-Manning is a senior policy adviser at the National Wildlife Federation who previously worked for two prominent Montana Democrats, Gov. Steve Bullock (D) and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).
In the summer of 2020, when Stone-Manning requested her thesis access be limited, she was both working for the National Wildlife Federation and actively speaking out against former President Donald Trump’s BLM nominee, Pendley, whose confirmation never came to fruition. Stone-Manning eventually became Biden’s nominee for the role in April 2021.
Breitbart News reached out to the National Wildlife Federation for comment from Stone-Manning about her thesis but has not received a response.
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.