Barrasso: The Senate Should Emphatically Oppose the Nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning

September 30, 2021

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 disqualified 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: 

“The Senate should emphatically oppose the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to lead the Bureau of Land Management. 

“She has colluded with eco-terrorists. She stone-walled a criminal investigation for years. She lied to the Senate. And she still holds radically dangerous views. It is outrageous. Let’s begin with her ties to eco-terrorists. 

“We worry about terrorism in this world and in this country. By her own admission in her court testimony, when she was in graduate school, she collaborated with eco-terrorists who had hammered hundreds of metal spikes into trees in a national forest in Idaho. 

“Tree spiking involves hammering a metal rod like this one into a tree trunk. This can do serious damage. They put about 500 pounds of these in tree trunks in a national forest. If a logger or firefighter cuts into the rod, the saw will shatter shrapnel will fly in every direction, and the user of that saw could be terribly injured or even killed. 

“If a sawmill blade comes across a spike like this in a sawmill, the saw can explode. The results can be catastrophic to life and limb. Eco-terrorists who spike trees absolutely know what they’re doing. It is always premeditated. Even the Washington Post has labeled tree spiking as one of the most viscous tactics of eco-terrorism. 

“So what is her connection to this horrible practice? She has admitted that she edited, typed and then anonymously sent a threat letter to the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of known tree spikers. 

“She and her Democrat defenders have claimed this letter was a warning so no one would get hurt. That is false. Here are just a few quotes from the letter she typed and she mailed to the U.S. Forest Service: ‘You bastards go in there anyway and a lot of people could get hurt.’ 

“And, ‘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 mailed this threatening letter to the target of the tree spiking, the U.S. Forest Service because she didn’t want any trees in that area to be harvested. She and her circle of friends were investigated for their involvement with this eco-terrorist network and the attack. She was subpoenaed. She had to give hair sampling, palm, handwriting, and fingerprint samples to investigators. 

“All this time, she knew who the tree spikers were. She could have gone to the authorities to identify them. But she refused. She did not cooperate with investigators. 

“The lead investigator on the case wrote a letter to Chairman Manchin and me after she testified in the Senate, and he referred to her as the ‘nastiest of the suspects.’ He also said she not only had knowledge of the plan to spike the trees, but she was one of the planners. She was a ringleader.

“The lead investigator in the criminal case wrote: ‘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.’ He wasn’t the only one who said she knew in advance. 

“In an interview recently, with E&E News, one of the convicted tree spikers, who went to jail for doing this, he confirmed Tracy Stone-Manning knew of the plan to spike the trees ‘well in advance.’ This was premeditated. 

“So who have we heard from? the cop and the criminal agree that she knew the plan to spike the trees. The criminal who went to jail. We heard from the cop who prosecuted the case. Both the cop and the criminal agree that she was involved and she knew about the plan to spike the trees. 

“According to the investigator’s letter, Ms. Stone-Manning’s lack of cooperation would set back the investigation for years. From 1990 until the end of 1992, the case went cold. 

“Remember, she knew who spiked the trees and she was protecting the eco-terrorists’ identities the entire time. Eventually, Ms. Stone-Manning was identified and she received an investigation target letter to let her know she was being targeted as part of the investigation. 

“The lead investigator said she only agreed to testify after she was caught, and after her lawyer negotiated an immunity deal to testify. Her defenders have said she helped put the bad guys away. 

“In fact, President Biden’s nominee was one of the bad guys. She helped plan the tree spiking. She covered up the terrorist activity for years. She did not cooperate with the authorities. And she only testified after she was caught and received immunity. 

“After all of this, she lied to our committee about the incident. On a sworn affidavit in her committee questionnaire she said she was not the target of any investigation. We know that’s a lie. 

“She complained in the press about how degrading it was to be investigated. Then why did she tell us she was never investigated and the press how degrading it was to be investigated? She also admitted to the press that she could have been charged with a crime if not for her immunity deal. She also lied about her involvement in the spiking. 

“I asked her directly: ‘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?’ 

“She replied ‘no.’ She sent their letter. She knew their plan in advance. She knew their identities. And she refused to tell the authorities. How is that not supporting activities associated with eco-terrorism and tree spiking? 

“Finally, Senate Democrats are quick to say this tree spiking was decades ago and can’t be relevant anymore in spite of the fact that it is a federal crime. As if collusion with terrorists is just a youthful indiscretion. 

“But she lied this year when she came to testify to the U.S. Senate. She lied to our committee and she lied to this institution. It’s clear to me that her radical views have not changed. 

“In September of 2020 – one year ago – she tweeted an article written by her husband that calls for homes in forests to be left to burn during wildfires. Her husband wrote: ‘There’s a rude and satisfying justice in burning down the house of someone who builds in the forest.’ 

“Tracy Stone-Manning is not responsible for the views of her husband. But a year ago, as wildfires burned across the country, she actually endorsed her husband’s views on letting the houses burn. In a tweet, she called her husband’s writing a ‘clarion call.’ A ‘clarion call’ means a call to action. 

“As the director of the Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning would be in charge of firefighting operations on public lands. She is comfortable leaving the houses of our constituents to burn because they built their homes in the forest. 

“I have constituents who have homes in the forest. I am sure almost every senator does. And this tweet wasn’t thirty years ago. This tweet was one year ago. Who actually thinks her beliefs are different today? 

“Her views on firefighting are just the tip of the iceberg. In her graduate thesis, she actually argued that Americans need to have fewer children because children are a threat to the environment. She actually called children ‘environmental hazards.’ 

“She told her readers to ‘stop at one or two.’ She even made ads like this one to promote these ideas. She is the nominee of the President of the United States for an important position in this government. She answered her own question by saying you can find the environmental hazard: ‘That’s right, it’s the cute baby.’ But this thesis wasn’t the only time she argued for human population control. 

“In an essay in the High Country News she said Americans were ‘breeding our weapons’ in the war on the grizzly bear. She concludes that essay by saying: ‘we should wage war on overpopulation.’ 

“These are ideas you hear in communist China, not from the nominee to be the director of the Bureau of Land Management in the United States. There are many qualified Democrats who could run the Bureau of Land Management and do a fine job. We should reject this nomination and the president can nominate someone else. 

“It is astonishing to me to see Democrats digging in to defend a proven liar, eco-terrorist collaborator, who still holds very dangerous and threatening beliefs. 

“Bob Abbey was the BLM director under President Obama. He said her actions ‘should disqualify her’ from leading this important agency. One Biden administration official admitted to NBC News her nomination was ‘a massive vetting failure.’ 

“When our committee asked current Interior Secretary Deb Haaland about Stone-Manning’s views, her response was ‘I didn’t nominate her.’ Well no she didn’t. The President of the United States did. 

“This is clearly not a rousing endorsement coming from fellow Democrats. If she is confirmed, Senate Democrats will be held wholly responsible. 

“They should consider carefully if they want their name associated with Tracy Stone-Manning. Tracy Stone-Manning should never be the director of the Bureau of Land Management. 

“I strongly oppose her nomination. Every Republican strongly opposes her nomination. And Senate Democrats should do the same.”