The nominee President Joe Biden picked to lead the federal Bureau of Land Management is reportedly lying about her involvement in a 1989 plot to spike trees.
The Washington Post has described tree spiking as an “‘eco-terrorist’ tactic” used against loggers and others in the forest-related industry. Spikes are buried in the tree wood so that when a saw hits them, the equipment shatters and sends shards of metal flying — a tactic that often severely injures loggers.
Tracy Stone-Manning’s connection to the practice has been well-documented. Stone-Manning was given legal immunity in 1993 to testify against fellow environmental activist John Blount.
Stone-Manning told the court that in 1989 she sent the Forest Service an anonymous letter claiming that 500 pounds of tree spikes awaited loggers in an Idaho forest.
She claimed then, and during her confirmation hearing, that she opposed tree spiking and acted under duress in sending the letter.
However, retired Forest Service Special Agent Michael Merkley wrote in a letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that Stone-Manning “was an active member of the original group that planned the spiking.”
She was “not an innocent bystander, nor was she a victim in this case. And, she most certainly was not a hero.”
Merkley’s letter said that a witness “recounted a conversation she had overheard wherein Ms. Stone-Manning along with other co-conspirators planned the tree-spiking and discussed whether to use ceramic or metal spikes in the trees.”
The letter said Stone-Manning only testified to avoid prosecution.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that based on the pile of lies told by Stone-Manning, the nominee is unfit, according to Fox News.
“We now know that President Biden’s nominee to run the Bureau of Land Management lied to the Senate about her alleged participation in eco-terrorism,” McConnell said. “The White House should immediately withdraw her nomination.”
A letter from Republicans on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources made a similar point.
“Ms. Stone-Manning has made false and misleading statements in a sworn statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (Committee) regarding her activities associated with an eco-terrorist cell whose tree spiking in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest in 1989 put lives at risk,” the senators wrote.
“We believe that Ms. Stone-Manning’s false and misleading statements, as well as her extremist activities, disqualify her from serving as Director of this important agency,” the letter said.
Tracy Stone-Manning lied to the Senate ENR Committee by claiming the tree spiking was “alleged” & that she was never investigated. Now, we have confirmation that neither of those things are true. @POTUS must withdraw her nomination. https://t.co/b327LoPnvm
— Sen. John Barrasso (@SenJohnBarrasso) June 28, 2021
“She told the committee she had never been the subject of an investigation and yet complained about being investigated in the press,” Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming said, according to Fox News.
“Tracy Stone-Manning lied to the Senate ENR Committee by claiming the tree spiking was ‘alleged’ & that she was never investigated. Now, we have confirmation that neither of those things are true,” the senator wrote on Twitter. “POTUS must withdraw her nomination.”