Story at a glance:
- Tracy Stone-Manning was nominated to serve as director of the Bureau of Land Management in the Biden administration.
- Republicans complain that Stone-Manning sent a letter on behalf of a radical environmental advocacy group, warning of tree spiking, in 1989.
- Stone-Manning took an offer to testify for immunity.
Tracy Stone-Manning got nominated to serve as director of the Bureau of Land Management in the Biden administration.
However, Republicans are not pleased with the decision, claiming Stone-Manning was an abetter to eco-saboteurs in 1989 during her years as a University of Montana graduate student, The Washington Post reported.
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She would send out letters on the behalf of those who implanted metal spikes in trees in Idaho, creating a dangerous obstacle for loggers instructed to cut them down.
Stone-Manning used her library’s typewriter to retype an anonymous warning to the U.S. Forest Service on the behalf of a fellow member of Earth First, to inform leaders that the trees had been spiked.
She claims her role in the tree spiking was tangential, according to the Post. An excerpt from the letter reads, “[the forest] is home to the Elk, Deer, Mountain Lions, Birds, and especially the Trees … You bastards go in there anyway and a lot of people could get hurt.”
Although Stone-Manning told the Senate she was never the “target” of the investigation, an investigator in the tree-spiking case, Michael Merkley, told the energy committee that Stone-Manning was an initial target of the investigation.
In exchange for her testimony she was granted immunity.
“Ms. Stone-Manning was not an innocent bystander, nor was she a victim in this case,” Merkley wrote in a letter to the committee. “And, she most certainly was not a hero.”
Two people were convicted of damaging government property.
“It is hard to imagine a nominee more disqualified than Tracy Stone-Manning,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the top Republican on the committee.
Democrats, wanting to defend Stone-Manning’s nomination because they believe the Republicans are trying to assassinate her character, brought up unrelated topics such as the Capitol Insurrection and the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
“I think back home we’d call this a skunk fight,” Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) said.
Stone-Manning’s duties would be to cut climate change emissions and retain a third of the nation’s land for conservation – tenants of Biden’s environmental reform upon entering office.
Biden supporters praise Stone-Manning’s background as a senior adviser at the National Wildlife Federation with knowledge on environmental policy and ability to introduce compromises between activists and industry. But her opponents say her affiliation with Earth First in the 1980s should disqualify her.
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