All 50 Senate Democrats Vote For A Nominee Who ‘Collaborated With Eco-Terrorists’

Even After Revelations From Both Investigators Into The 1989 Tree-Spiking Incident Tracy Stone-Manning Was Linked To And One Of The Convicted Perpetrators Saying She Knew About The Plot, All 50 Senate Democrats Still Voted To Advance Her Nomination To Be Director Of The Bureau Of Land Management


Today, all 50 Senate Democrats voted to discharge the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, allowing Senate floor consideration, the first step to confirming her. (PN443, Roll Call Vote #280: Motion agreed to 50-49: D 48-0; R 0-49; I 2-0; 7/27/2021)

  • Stone-Manning had previously failed to advance out of committee because a majority of the committee would not support sending her nomination to the Senate floor. (PN443, 117th Congress)

‘One Of The Most Extreme Nominees I’ve Ever Seen To Be Nominated’

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY), Ranking Member of Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee: “Ms. Stone-Manning told our committee she was never investigated…. To be clear, after Stone-Manning had her confirmation hearing here in the Senate earlier this year, two people with direct knowledge came forward. One was the cop, the criminal investigator who investigated the crime. The other was the criminal who was convicted. Both the cop and the criminal say she lied. Ms. Stone-Manning helped plan the tree spiking. She knew about it in advance. She sent the threatening letter to the Forest Service. She was investigated. She collaborated with eco-terrorists. She lied to the Senate. Lying to the United States Senate has consequences. In this case her actions and her lies should cost her this nomination.” (Sen. Barrasso, Floor Remarks, 7/27/2021)

SEN. DAN SULLIVAN (R-AK): “In a couple of minutes we’re going to vote on one of the most extreme nominees I’ve ever seen to be nominated for anything requiring the confirmation of the United States Senate. To be honest, I can’t believe we’re even really having this debate. I can’t believe that the Senate is going to put forward and vote on an eco-terrorist. I can’t believe the President of the United States, after maybe not recognizing who he put forward, didn’t withdraw the nomination…. [N]ormally you would think in America that would disqualify you from a position that requires Senate confirmation, a position, by the way, that’s one of the most important positions to my state, the great state of Alaska, and yet here we are.” (Sen. Sullivan, Floor Remarks, 7/27/2021)

SEN. CINDY HYDE-SMITH (R-MS): “I rise to join my colleagues in expressing my grave concern over the nomination of Ms. Tracy Stone-Manning to be the Director of the Bureau of Land Management. … I am particularly disturbed by Ms. Stone-Manning’s involvement with the eco-terrorist organization, Earth First, which organized the tree-spiking plot in Idaho. As you all may know, tree spiking involves hammering a metal or ceramic rod into a tree trunk in order to prevent loggers from harvesting the timber. If a saw makes contact with a spike, it can result in severe injury or even the logger’s death. … I’m very disappointed that my Democratic colleagues on the Energy committee moved forward with Ms. Stone-Manning’s nomination. There are serious unanswered questions about her veracity and her qualifications to lead. I applaud my colleagues who have sought the truth, and I am disheartened that those efforts have been met with resistance. The American people deserve transparency. I cannot support this nominee, and I would urge my colleagues to do the same.” (Sen. Hyde-Smith, Floor Remarks, 7/27/2021)


Two Former Obama Bureau Of Land Management Officials Have Raised Concerns About Stone-Manning’s Nomination, With One Saying Her Connection To The Tree-Spiking Incidents Is Enough To Disqualify Her

“Republican opposition to Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination for director of the Bureau of Land Management now has a Democrat and former senior Obama-era official on its side. Bob Abbey, who served as BLM’s Senate-confirmed director during President Obama’s first term in office, said unanswered questions surrounding Stone-Manning’s involvement in a criminal tree-spiking incident on the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho in 1989 are enough to disqualify her from leading the bureau. Abbey, who previously supported Stone-Manning’s nomination and had been a critic of Trump administration BLM policies, joins a number of Republicans who have raised concerns about the incident.” (“Obama BLM Director: Biden Needs A New Nominee,” E&E News, 6/21/2021)

“Another Obama official is raising questions about President Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Tracy Stone-Manning, who is linked to a 1989 eco-terrorist plot. Steve Ellis, who was deputy director of BLM under former President Obama, expressed his concern of what the confirmation of Stone-Manning could do to both the agency and the U.S. Forest Service. Ellis is a near-four decade veteran of both BLM and the Forest Service. He retired from the agency in 2016.” (“Another Obama Official Raises Concerns About Biden Nominee Linked To Eco-Terrorism,” Fox News, 07/26/2021)

  • STEVE ELLIS, President Obama’s Deputy Director of BLM: “Much of the focus seems to be whether this is a Democrat or Republican thing, but the lens I look at this through is as a 38-year career person in both agencies, and that letter she wrote went to my Forest Service colleagues on the Clearwater. … The administration’s got some great initiatives and their agenda for public lands is good, but you need the career employees to implement your agenda successfully across the West… Your leader has got to be respected by career employees and across the landscape, in both blue and red states.” (“Another Obama Official Raises Concerns About Biden Nominee Linked To Eco-Terrorism,” Fox News, 7/26/2021)


REMINDER: In 1989, Biden’s Nominee To Be Director Of The Bureau Of Land Management Sent An Anonymous Letter To The U.S. Forest Service Warning About Spiked Trees ‘And A Lot Of People Could Get Hurt’

“President Biden’s nominee to serve as the head of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ‘collaborated with eco-terrorists’ in a tree spiking plot before trading her court testimony for legal immunity, according to court documents reviewed by Fox News.” (“Biden Land Management Nominee ‘Collaborated With Eco-Terrorists,’ Traded Testimony For Immunity,” 6/16/2021)

“One spring day in 1989, Tracy Stone rented a typewriter from the University of Montana library and began to retype a letter. The typewriter was to avoid using her personal computer. The letter was an anonymous warning to the U.S. Forest Service that someone had hammered hundreds of metal spikes into trees in an Idaho forest that was slated to be cut down for timber. An acquaintance in her circle of young environmentalists had asked her to send it. After fixing a few spelling mistakes and removing some profanity, Stone dropped it in the mail. … The four-paragraph letter she mailed put it more bluntly. Signed ‘George Hayduke’ — the fictional hero of Edward Abbey’s 1975 novel, ‘The Monkey Wrench Gang,’ about a group plotting to blow up a dam — it said that 500 pounds of eight- to 10-inch spikes had been pounded into the trees because ‘this piece of land is very special to the earth. It is home to the Elk, Deer, Mountain Lions, Birds, and especially the Trees.’ The postscript warned: ‘You bastards go in there anyway and a lot of people could get hurt.’ … Stone-Manning described in testimony that she had no formal or financial role in Earth First but participated in meetings and activities.” (“As A Student, Tracy Stone-Manning Sent A Letter On Behalf Of Eco-Saboteurs. It’s Now Complicating Her Chance To Lead The Bureau Of Land Management.,” The Washington Post, 7/04/2021)

At The Time, The Washington Post Described Tree-Spiking As ‘Eco-Terrorism’

“George Alexander, a third-generation mill worker, was just starting his shift at the Louisiana-Pacific lumber mill in Cloverdale, Calif., when the log that would alter his life rolled down his conveyor belt toward a high-speed saw he was working on. It was May 1987, and Alexander was 23. His job was to split logs. He was nearly three feet away when the log hit his saw and the saw exploded. One half of the blade stuck in the log. The other half hit Alexander in the head, tearing through his safety helmet and face shield. His face was slashed from eye to chin. His teeth were smashed and his jaw was cut in half. Alexander had never even heard of a sabotage tactic called tree spiking until he became a victim of ‘eco-terrorism.’ Someone who objected to tree cutting had imbedded a huge steel spike in the log that violently jammed the saw. … Tree spikes are among the most vicious of the strategies. While the tree is still in the forest, the spike is driven in at an angle so the head is hidden in the bark. It can shatter a chain saw on impact, sending pieces of razor-sharp steel flying.” (“Tree Spiking An ‘Eco-Terrorist’ Tactic,” The Washington Post, 3/05/1990)


Federal Law Enforcement Agents Who Worked The Tree-Spiking Case Said Stone-Manning Was A Target Of The Investigation, Knew She Was Being Investigated, And Refused To Cooperate Until She Was Identified As A Conspirator Years Later

“A retired federal law enforcement agent who investigated the 1989 tree-spiking incident that has consumed Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Land Management said investigators suspected her of knowing about the crime before she began to cooperate with the probe. The official, who agreed to talk on the condition he not be identified, said she did not initially help authorities identify two men who were eventually convicted of spiking hundreds of trees in an Idaho national forest. This initial lack of cooperation with law enforcement set the investigation back by several years, he said. ‘She absolutely refused to do anything’ to advance the investigation, the retired officer said.” (“Agent: BLM Nominee Was An Early Target In Tree-Spiking Case,” E&E News, 6/25/2021)

  • The federal investigator said he considered her a target of the grand jury investigation. Stone-Manning, a graduate student at the University of Montana at the time, was required to submit hair samples, fingerprints, palm samples and a writing sample. That’s because investigators found a sweater at the tree-spiking site, along with a hair sample and short, handwritten note. The origins of the sweater and note were never identified, the former investigator said. … The case went dormant until 1992, when [activist friend John] Blount’s former common-law wife reached out to the FBI to identify Blount and [activist friend Jeffrey] Fairchild as the men who spiked the trees. The woman also told investigators that Stone-Manning is the one who sent the letter to the Clearwater National Forest, the retired investigator said. … The former investigator said that Stone-Manning agreed to testify after this information was presented to her. ‘The only reasons that Tracy Stone-Manning became a cooperator, if you want to call it that, is because she was caught,’ he said.” (“Agent: BLM Nominee Was An Early Target In Tree-Spiking Case,” E&E News, 6/25/2021)

‘She Was Aware That She Was Being Investigated In 1989 And Again In 1993’ And ‘She Was The Nastiest Of The Suspects’

“A decades-old tree-spiking incident is threatening to bring down President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Bureau of Land Management. A retired federal investigator involved with the case came forward Wednesday to allege that Tracy Stone-Manning engaged in ‘vulgar, antagonistic, and extremely anti-government’ behavior during the 1989 investigation. … [T]he political heat surrounding her nomination is likely to grow following a letter sent to the Senate Energy Committee by retired U.S. Forest Service criminal investigator Michael Merkley, who said Stone-Manning knew she was under criminal investigation at the time.” (“Biden’s BLM Pick Hit With New Allegations From Former Investigator In Tree-Spiking Case,” Politico, 7/15/2021)


And An Eco-Terrorist Convicted In The Tree-Spiking Incident Says ‘She Knew About It Far In Advance’ And ‘She Had Agreed To Mail The Letter Well In Advance’ Of The Operation

“In a separate interview with E&E News… the environmental activist who coordinated the operation to spike hundreds of trees in an Idaho national forest said Stone-Manning knew of the plan and had agreed weeks in advance to send the anonymous letter warning the Forest Service of the illegal deed. But John Blount, one of two men convicted of spiking the trees, said Stone-Manning did not participate in the plan to outfit hundreds of trees at Clearwater National Forest with nails and metal spikes in an effort to stop a timber sale.” (“Convicted Tree Spiker: Stone-Manning Knew Plans In Advance,” E&E News, 7/15/2021)


However, Responding To A Questionnaire From The Senate Energy And Natural Resources Committee, Stone-Manning Claimed She Had ‘Never Been The Target’ Of A Criminal Investigation

“Senate Republicans have accused Stone-Manning of misrepresenting her involvement in the case, particularly in her written responses to a standardized questionnaire submitted to the committee in May. The document asked whether she had ‘ever been investigated, arrested, or charged by any federal, state or local law enforcement authority for the violation of any federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance, other than a minor traffic offense.’ Stone-Manning answered that she had ‘never been arrested or charged and to my knowledge I have never been the target of such an investigation.’ She did acknowledge in her written answer that, in 1989, ‘I testified before a federal grand jury in Boise, Idaho, as part of an investigation into an alleged tree-spiking incident related to a timber sale. I later testified in a trial that resulted in the conviction of a responsible individual.’” (“Agent: BLM Nominee Was An Early Target In Tree-Spiking Case,” E&E News, 6/25/2021)

SEN. BARRASSO: “Tracy Stone-Manning collaborated with eco-terrorists who had booby trapped trees with metal spikes. She mailed the threatening letter for them and she was part of the cover up. She did not cooperate with investigators until she was caught. Tracy Stone-Manning lied to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by claiming the tree spiking was ‘alleged’ and that she was never investigated. Now, we have confirmation that neither of those things are true. President Biden must withdraw her nomination.” (Sen. Barrasso, Press Release, 6/28/2021)

SEN. JIM RISCH (R-ID), Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Member: “Tracy Stone-Manning colluded with eco-terrorists who conducted extremist operations that aimed to maim and kill Idaho’s loggers and sawmill workers. Now she’s nominated to lead the largest land management agency in America… We cannot ask Bureau of Land Management employees to serve under a director who aided those who endangered the land users they work on behalf of each day.” (Sen. Risch, Press Release, 6/16/2021)


Inexplicably, The White House Continues To Stand By Stone-Manning, Even As The Interior Secretary Declines To Defend Her And One Official Admitted Her Nomination Was ‘A Massive Vetting Failure By The White House’

SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DEB HAALAND: “I had not read any of that, senator, and, yes I am the secretary of the Interior, but [Tracy Stone-Manning] is the president’s nominee… I didn’t nominate her. I am here to move the department forward on the president’s priorities, and that’s what I’m focused on at the moment.” (“Barrasso Grills Haaland On Biden’s BLM Nominee, Tree-Spiking During Hearing,” Fox News, 7/27/2021)

NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT JOSH LEDERMAN: “Biden’s nominee to run the Bureau of Land Management under growing scrutiny for her role in a tree spiking plot in the early 1990s and early 1980s. Republican Sen. John Barrasso accusing her of collaborating with ecoterrorists. … But a Biden administration official described this to me as a massive vetting failure by the White House to allow this nominee to go forward despite knowing the headache it would create…” (MSNBC, 7/09/2021)

Even After The Revelations Contradicting Stone-Manning’s Testimony To The Senate, Jen Psaki Says President Biden’s View Hasn’t Changed

REPORTER: “As you know, Senate Republicans have been calling on the President to withdraw his nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning, over connections to this tree spiking incident in 1989. That escalated last week with this former Forest Service investigator coming forward with an account that contradicts what she’s told senators, as well as a man who was convicted in that case. Have those revelations changed the President’s view on that nominee at all?”
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI: “It has not. He stands by his nominee and looks forward to her getting confirmed.” (White House Press Briefing, 7/19/2021)



Related Issues: Nominations