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Friday, May 24, 2024

INVESTIGATOR: Biden’s BLM Nominee Was an Eco-Terrorist; Lied to Senate

Tracy Stone-Manning 'has no business leading the Bureau of Land Management'...

A former investigator with the U.S. Forest Service, who helped prosecute eco-terrorists in an 1989 case, has alleged that Tracy Stone-Manning, President Joe Biden’s nominee to oversee the Bureau of Land Management, was a target of a federal probe before she negotiated an immunity deal for her cooperation.

In a letter to Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso, retired investigator Michael Merkley said that Stone-Manning was an active member of a radical environmental group, Earth First!, which planted trees with spikes to make it dangerous or deadly to harvest the trees for lumber.

Tree spiking was implicated in a 1987 case which maimed a 23-year-old mill worker. Earth First! co-founder Dave Foreman, described in a 1990 Washington Post article as an “eco-terrorist”, wrote a book about how to spike trees, according to the Post.

“Contrary to  many of the stories in the news, Ms. Stone-Manning was not an innocent bystander, nor was she a victim in the case,” said Merkley in the letter. “Ms. Stone-Manning was not only a member of Earth First!, but she played an active role in the Earth First! hierarchy.”

The letter goes on to describe how Stone-Manning, with other Earth First! members, helped plan the tree spiking, and then helped obstruct the investigation until she was threatened with indictment.

Stone-Manning has admitted that she wrote the threatening letter to authorities involved in the tree spiking case.

Two of Stone-Manning’s friends were convicted of the sabotage more than four years later. She received immunity from prosecutors and testified against them, according to court documents and interviews with people involved in the case.

“I am grateful to the lead investigator for providing the committee with all of the facts of the case,” said Barrasso. “Not only did Tracy Stone-Manning collaborate with eco-terrorists, she also helped plan the tree spiking in Clearwater National Forest.”

Barrasso has pushed for the Stone-Manning nomination to be withdrawn, saying that she “has no business leading the Bureau of Land Management.”

Those calls were echoed by Idaho Republican Senator Jim Risch.

“Tracy Stone-Manning lied on her ethics paperwork to the U.S. Senate that she had never been the subject of a criminal investigation,” said Risch. “She doubled down on that lie – and added a new one that she had no knowledge of the 1989 tree spiking plot – in written responses to the U.S. Senate.”

Risch said that Stone-Manning “perjured” herself to the United States Congress and should have her nomination withdrawn.

Both Idaho and Wyoming have large commercial logging operations.

The Biden administration thus far has continued to back Stone-Manning — a former top aide to former Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock — despite the strong GOP opposition to her nomination to direct the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management. The agency oversees energy production, grazing, logging and other activities across almost a quarter-billion acres of public lands, primarily in the West.

The story takes added impetus because of the recent inflationary rise of lumber prices in the U.S.

Although lumber prices fell nearly 50% since May, prices still are nearly double the prices from last fall.

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