Idaho loggers have an ax to grind with Bureau of Land Management nominee Tracy Stone-Manning.
The Associated Logging Contractors-Idaho urged the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee leaders to reject her nomination to head the agency, citing her involvement in a 1989 tree-spiking cabal.
“Ms. Stone-Manning’s actions then, and now, cast a long shadow on her judgment and ability to direct a land management agency. We ask that her nomination be denied,” ALC Executive Director Shawn Keough said Tuesday in a letter.
The trade association, which represents about 500 logging, forest equipment and trucking businesses, as well as 100 suppliers, weighed in with no vote scheduled on the nominee amid growing opposition over her role in the eco-sabotage incident in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest.
The letter to West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, the committee’s chairman, and Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the panel’s ranking Republican, called tree-spiking “a terrorist action that causes grave danger, including the loss of life, to loggers and to mill workers when a saw hits that metal.”
“Many of the ALC-Idaho’s members are multi-generational family businesses and a good portion live near and work in the Clearwater National Forest,” said Mr. Keough. “The memory of the eco-terrorist activities in the late 1980s and into the 1990s is embedded in the community.”
Ms. Stone-Manning has said previously that she sought to protect loggers and forestry workers by retyping, editing and mailing an anonymous profanity-laced letter from one of the perpetrators warning about the tree-spiking and describing the location.
“Tracy Stone-Manning was involved and has admitted to her part in these terrorist activities that placed lives at risk,” said Mr. Keough. “Additionally, according to reports in the media, Ms. Stone-Manning did not share with the Committee that she was part of an investigation by law enforcement into these terrorist activities.”
Mr. Barrasso has accused the nominee of lying on her committee questionnaire by saying that she had never been the target of a federal investigation, even though she received immunity from prosecution to testify against two activist friends in 1993. They were both convicted.
Bob Abbey, who led the BLM from 2009-2012 in the Obama administration, has said she should withdraw her nomination, but the Biden administration has defended Ms. Stone-Manning, calling her a “dedicated public servant with years of experience.”
An administration source told The Washington Times said that Ms. Stone-Manning has “always been honest and transparent about this matter, which has been covered by the media for decades, and ultimately testified against the responsible individual, who was convicted.”
The letter she mailed warned the Forest Service that 500 pounds of metal spikes from 8 to 10 inches in length had been driven into trees, a tactic used by extremists to stop timber sales.
At the time, Ms. Stone-Manning was active in the radical environmental group Earth First as a graduate student at the University of Montana.