OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Tracy Stone-Manning, Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management has a dark history of environmental activism, including a plot to spike trees. Her ties to ecoterrorism have led to intense opposition from Republicans, who oppose her nomination.
If confirmed, Stone-Manning would be in charge of an agency tasked with managing 245 million acres of public land and 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate.
According to Fox News, Stone-Manning testified, in exchange for immunity, that she was responsible for retyping and sending an anonymous letter to the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of John P. Blount, her former roommate and friend, warning the Forest Service that 500 pounds of “spikes measuring 8 to 10 inches in length” had been lodged into trees of an Idaho forest designated for the lumber industry.
Tree spiking commonly involves hammering a metal rod into a tree trunk, either at its base where a logger is expected to cut into the tree, or higher up where it would later damage or destroy a sawmill processing the wood. The illegal activity is often used by environmental activists by risking damage to saws, and may cause potential injury or even death to the logger who cuts into the spiked tree.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and every Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee have called on Biden to withdraw Stone-Manning’s nomination due to her past activity.
Stone-Manning’s written answers to senators, who inquired about her character, raised questions about her truthfulness. In the initial round of questions, Stone-Manning denied ever having been the target of a criminal investigation. However, her own past statements, as well as the lead investigator on the case, disputed her claim, per Fox News.
“She told the committee she had never been the subject of an investigation and yet complained about being investigated in the press,” Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the committee, said to Fox News.
Stone-Manning claimed she had absolutely no “personal knowledge” of any tree-spiking plot. Her claim was disputed by one of the two men convicted in the 1989 tree-spiking plot, who told E&E News that Stone-Manning was fully aware of it. The other man said she didn’t know in advance of the plot.
Contrary to her claims, the BLM nominee promoted an environmental festival in 1989 that even included a “tree-spiking contest” per archives of the Montana Kaiman, as uncovered by Fox News.
In addition to her tree-spiking activities, Stone-Manning has expressed a distinctly Malthusian perspective on population control, arguing in her graduate thesis that Americans need to perform population control to save the planet.
“The origin of our abuses is us. If there were fewer of us, we would have less impact,” wrote Stone-Manning in the thesis, as uncovered by Daily Caller. “We must consume less, and more importantly, we must breed fewer consuming humans.”
Indeed, Stone-Manning created eight advertisements for her thesis that focused on issues of overpopulation and a number of environmental-related issues. One of the ads she produced refers to children as an “environmental hazard” and calls on Americans to only have a maximum of two children.
“The earth is only so big, and we can tap into it only so often. In America, we tap in often and hard,” Stone-Manning’s ad states. “When we overpopulate, the earth notices it more. Stop at two. It could be the best thing you do for the planet.”
Stone-Manning also produced a television script for her thesis, in which a woman mulls over having a third child. The script includes a montage advising the woman – and the viewers – to limit how many children they have, and to “stop at one or two kids” if they even have any.