Click here to watch Ranking Member Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) delivered the following remarks on the Senator floor about Tracy Stone-Manning being unfit to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Barrasso is ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR).
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I come to the floor today to oppose the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to be the director of the Bureau of Land Management.
“This morning the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted on her nomination.
“Every Republican on the committee voted no.
“Before our business meeting was over, Senator Schumer came to the floor and praised this nominee to the skies.
“President Biden and the Democrats have wrapped their arms around this nomination and they won’t let go.
“So the question is – who is this nominee that the Democrats are embracing and every Republican voted against?
“Tracy Stone-Manning, as a graduate student, collaborated with eco-terrorists.
“These are people who hammered hundreds of metal spikes – 500 pounds of metal spikes – into trees in our national forest in Idaho.
“Tree spiking involves hammering these rods into a tree.
“Why did they do that?
“Well, they want to stop progress in terms of logging.
“They want to stop progress in terms of firefighting.
“Because if a logger or firefighter were to hit this rod with a chainsaw, the chainsaw would shatter.
“Devastating injuries have occurred as a result.
“If the saw is used in sawmills, and were to hit one of these as they’re planing through the tree to produce boards, the entire blade shatters.
“It’s been described to me by someone who has worked in one of these mills – it’s like a hand grenade going off – damaging people all around the vicinity.
“The results can be fatal, and there are examples around the country where this has actually happened.
“Even the Washington Post has labeled tree spiking as eco-terrorism.
“Tracy Stone-Manning, as a member of a radical group, edited, typed and then anonymously sent a profanity-laced letter threatening the U.S. Forest Service.
“Here are just a few quotes from the letter.
“She typed, ‘You bastards go in there anyway and a lot of people could get hurt.’
“She typed, ‘I would be more than willing to pay you a dollar for the sale, but you would have to find me first and that could be your WORST nightmare.’
“She then mailed this threatening letter to the target of the tree spiking, the U.S. Forest Service.
“She and her circle were investigated.
“They were investigated for their involvement with this ring of eco-terrorists and this eco-terrorist attack.
“She was subpoenaed.
“She was ordered to give hair sampling, palm sampling, handwriting sampling, fingerprint samples to the investigators.
“She knew full well who the tree spikers were.
“She could have easily gone to the authorities to identify them.
“She did not.
“She covered it up for years, refused to cooperate with investigators.
“Recently, in the last couple of months, Tracy Stone-Manning came before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
“She came for her confirmation hearing.
“Since that hearing and the statements that she made to the committee, an affidavit she swore under oath and signed, since that time – several people involved in her original case have come forward to the press and to the committee to set the record straight from the record of the story she told the committee at the time.
“The lead investigator on this case wrote a letter to Chairman Manchin and me.
“That investigator, who has worked as a special criminal investigator for the United States government for 28 years, been a long time member of the U.S. military – served in Vietnam, and retired as a criminal investigator because of death threats made to him and his family by the group that worked on this eco-terrorism.
“He wrote to the committee that she was the ‘nastiest of the suspects.’
“He said she not only had knowledge of the plan to spike these trees, she was one of the planners.
“He wrote to us, ‘It became clear that Ms. Stone-Manning was an active member of the original group that planned the spiking of the Post Office timber sale.’
“Then just last week, one of the convicted tree spikers – one of the people that actually went to jail because of that, he came forward in an interview with the press.
“In an interview with E&E News, the convicted tree spiker confirmed Tracy Stone-Manning knew of the plan to spike the trees ‘well in advance.’
“According to the investigator’s letter, Ms. Stone-Manning’s lack of cooperation set back the initial investigation many years.
“Eventually, when she was identified and received an investigation target letter, she had to make a decision.
“The lead investigator said she only agreed to testify after she was caught, and after her lawyer negotiated an immunity deal.
“Tracy Stone-Manning helped plan the tree spiking.
“She covered up for the terrorists and their activity for years.
“She refused to cooperate with the authorities.
“She only testified when she was caught and given immunity.
“After all of this, she created a story and lied to our committee about the incident.
“On a sworn affidavit in her committee questionnaire, she said it was it was an ‘alleged’ tree spiking and that she was not the subject of an investigation.
“I specifically asked her, ‘Did you have personal knowledge of, participate in, or in any way directly or indirectly support activities associated with the spiking of trees in any forest during your lifetime?’
“Her response under oath was ‘no.’
“Both the cop – the criminal investigator – and the criminal – the man who went to jail for this – both came forward after her hearing to say Tracy Stone-Manning was lying to the Senate.
“Over the past 30 years, she has made contradictory statements about this eco-terrorist incident.
“In 2013, she told a Montana State Senate Committee she was intimidated into sending the letter by a stranger.
“Yet in courtroom testimony she admitted the tree spikers were her friends.
“She was one of the ring leaders of the group.
“Mr. President, there are many qualified Democrats who could run the Bureau of Land Management.
“Within the federal government, this is the group that oversees an eighth of all of the land in the United States.
“It is astonishing to me that Democrats are digging in to defend a proven liar and an eco-terrorist collaborator.
“Senator Schumer came to the floor today and made it very clear that he will support this deeply flawed nominee.
“Will other Democrats do it as well?
“Will other Democrats that have millions of acres of BLM land in their states join him?
“Things have certainly changed since, and it’s interesting what has happened to the Bureau of Land Management nominees because Preside Obama’s BLM director, Bob Abbey came forward.
“He said her actions ‘should disqualify her’ from leading this important agency.
“One Biden administration official admitted to NBC News that her nomination was ‘a massive vetting failure.’
“There will be more to say about this nominee when an attempt is made to discharge her out of the committee – if they get to that point – the cloture vote on the floor and again her vote on confirmation.
“Lots to be said, more information will come out.
“It is hard for me, as the ranking member of that committee, to imagine a nominee more disqualified than Tracy Stone-Manning.
“She collaborated with eco-terrorists.
“She lied to the Senate.
“She continues to harbor extremist views that most Americans find reprehensible.
“I strongly oppose her nomination.
“I urge all of my colleagues to do the same.
“Tracy Stone-Manning is unfit to serve.”