The entire Wyoming congressional delegation is opposed to President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) amid revelations about her past ties to an ecoterrorist group and involvement in a 1989 ecoterrorism crime.
Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) told Breitbart News on Monday nominee Tracy Stone-Manning has “no business leading” the BLM because of her involvement 30 years ago with the environmental extremist group Earth First!, members of which committed acts of ecoterrorism in the 1980s and 1990s.
“There are real concerns over Tracy Stone-Manning’s involvement with eco-terrorists, and as such she has no business leading the Bureau of Land Management,” Lummis said in a statement. “Her radical ties and past activism have led even a former Obama BLM director to withdraw his support for her.”
Lummis’s Obama administration reference is about former BLM Director Bob Abbey, who added bipartisanship to the opposition to Stone-Manning in June when he rejected her nomination because of her involvement in a tree spiking case in 1989 while she was associated with Earth First.
“Even if her role in spiking trees in a national forest was minimal, the fact she stood by and allowed this criminal action to take place could have resulted in critical injuries or worse to career public servants who were just performing their duties,” Abbey told E&E News. “As a 30-year BLM career employee, I don’t take her actions lightly, nor should anyone else.”
As Breitbart News reported on the tree spiking case:
In 1989, Stone-Manning mailed a letter to the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of John P. Blount, an individual in her “circle of friends,” crudely warning federal 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 be fatal to 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 or anyone else with the 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 the 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. Stone-Manning later filled out a questionnaire for her Senate confirmation hearing with inaccuracies related to the tree spiking case.
Lummis added about Stone-Manning, “I am unequivocally opposed to Ms. Manning as BLM director and hope my colleagues in the Senate recognize how destructive she could be while managing nearly 18 million acres in Wyoming and huge swaths of the West.”
The BLM holds substantial influence over Wyoming. It manages 18.4 million acres of the Cowboy State’s federal lands and 42.9 million acres of its federal minerals, while the state’s second-largest industry, tourism, is reliant on BLM land.
Another congressional Wyomingite, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), wrote a detailed letter to Biden on Thursday opposing the nominee. “Wyoming’s economic and environmental well-being is greatly affected by federal land policies,” Cheney stated. “While Tracy Stone-Manning claims to be an advocate of multiple use, her open opposition to livestock grazing, oil and gas development, and mining – in addition to the recent disturbing discovery of her involvement in tree-spiking in order to disrupt a national forest timber sale – prove otherwise.”
Stone-Manning had her Senate confirmation hearing with the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in June, leading the most senior Wyoming lawmaker, ranking member Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), to call on Biden to withdraw her nomination.
“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 told Breitbart News. “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.”
Committee chair Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), whose support or opposition to Stone-Manning could prove make-or-break for the nominee, has remained silent about her, and his committee has not scheduled a vote for her confirmation as of the time of this writing.
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.