The Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) has joined a growing number of groups rejecting the confirmation of Tracy Stone-Manning, President Joe Biden’s controversial nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), citing her past association with ecoterrorists.
The OFB issued a statement on its website last week about its decision, which was then shared Thursday by the Congressional Western Caucus, another group against Stone-Manning.
The OFB, the representative organization of Oregon’s agricultural community, wrote it “opposes the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to serve as director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management based on her association with and apparent support for activists who used tactics like tree spiking in working forests.”
Stone-Manning was an active member of the environmental extremist group Earth First! while she was a graduate student at the University of Montana in Missoula 30 years ago. Specifically, her involvement in a 1989 tree spiking crime — and her lack of forthrightness about her role in the crime over the course of her career — has led to a spate of calls for Biden to withdraw her nomination.
Tree spiking, which was prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s, is a form of sabotage and an act of ecoterrorism in which metal spikes are hammered into trees to prevent them from being harvested. The spikes are known to destroy expensive logging equipment and have the potential to injure or kill loggers or millworkers.
The OFB joins several counties in the West, national and state logger organizations, the Dallas Safari Club and Houston Safari Club, a former Obama administration BLM director, a former Trump administration acting BLM director, dozens of House Republicans, and all Senate Republicans in rejecting Stone-Manning’s nomination.
In July, a Biden administration official described her nomination as a “massive vetting failure,” according to an NBC News report.
“We cannot support a nominee who condones and will not adequately reject groups that use violence and threats of harm to intimidate and advance their own agenda,” OFB Executive Vice President Dave Dillon said. “We join the growing chorus of Americans from both parties in asking the president to withdraw this nomination.”
"We join the growing chorus of Americans from both parties in asking the President to withdraw this nomination." pic.twitter.com/XHRFImh9QQ
— Western Caucus (@westerncaucus) August 4, 2021
The BLM manages an estimated 245 million acres of public lands and 700 million acres of mineral lands, mostly in the West. In the Pacific Northwest specifically, the BLM manages 16.1 million acres of public lands.
A full Senate vote on Stone-Manning’s confirmation has not been scheduled, and with a lengthy, weeks-long Senate recess on the horizon next week, it remains uncertain if a vote will occur before that. 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.
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