An organization representing the interests of loggers across the country sent a letter on Monday to the U.S. Senate calling on senators to reject the confirmation of Tracy Stone-Manning, President Joe Biden’s controversial nominee to head the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The American Loggers Council, a coalition of logging associations serving as a voice for loggers in 30 states, indicated Stone-Manning’s membership in the ecoterrorist group Earth First! while she was a University of Montana graduate student gave loggers reason to doubt her qualifications.
“Her history of involvement in activities designed to oppose and interfere with healthy forest management practices on public lands casts doubt on her qualifications to effectively administer the responsibilities of the position she has been nominated for,” the letter stated.
Revelations about Stone-Manning’s involvement in a 1989 tree spiking crime — and her lack of forthrightness about her role in the crime over the course of her career — have led all Senate Republicans to unite in opposing her nomination. Senate Democrats, however, remain intent so far on confirming her as indicated by a procedural vote in July they made to advance her nomination through to a full Senate vote.
Tree spiking is a form of sabotage and an act of ecoterrorism that was prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s in which metal spikes were hammered into trees to prevent them from being harvested. The spikes were known to destroy expensive logging equipment and had the potential to injure or kill loggers or millworkers.
The logging council wrote, “The public information of her involvement in eco-terrorist tree spiking in the past is very disconcerting. … Those trees remain a hazard and threat to loggers today.”
The organization noted it typically does not weigh in on nominations and respects a White House administration’s ability to choose its nominees but that the American Loggers Council’s Board of Directors voted unanimously against Stone-Manning after “thorough review.”
“As the national voice of the American Logger, representing 30 states, the American Loggers Council respectfully request members of the Senate vote no on her confirmation,” the group concluded.
Two groups within the American Loggers Council, the Associated California Loggers and the Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho, also both wrote their own letters of opposition to the Senate, again citing the tree spiking case:
A full Senate vote on Stone-Manning’s confirmation has not been scheduled, but it could happen as soon as this week. With the upper chamber split 50–50, every Republican vote as well as one Democrat vote would be necessary to block Stone-Manning’s confirmation.
It remains uncertain whether Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) absence this week following a coronavirus diagnosis will delay the voting.
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