Lee Heidhues 10.1.2021
The environmental movement scored a major victory with the long overdue confirmation of Tracy Stone-Manning as director of the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Republican senators waged a vicious and incendiary campaign to bring down the nominee for her alleged involvement in still disputed events which took place over 30 years ago.
To the credit of the Democrats in the Senate, they stood firm and were not intimidated by the slash and burn tactics of their Republican colleagues.
Excerpted from Washington Post 10.1.2021
The Senate on Thursday confirmed Tracy Stone-Manning to be the director of the Bureau of Land Management in a party-line vote, amid intense opposition from Republicans over her involvement three decades ago with environmental activists who sabotaged an Idaho timber sale.
She was confirmed by a 50-to-45 vote.
After the confirmation vote, Collin O’Mara, the president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said in a statement that “at a time when our public lands are suffering from prolonged drought, devastating wildfires, and other climate-fueled disasters, Tracy will bring visionary leadership and a collaborative management style that will restore and revitalize our public lands and waters.”
Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said he was “unable to find any credible evidence in the exhaustive trial record of the tree-spiking case that supports the allegations levied against Miss Stone-Manning.”
Instead, he said, he found “compelling evidence that Miss Stone-Manning has built a solid reputation over the past three decades as a dedicated public servant.”
Stone-Manning’s former boss, Tester, described her as someone who “understands that the way you get things done is be collaborative, bring people together, talk issues out.”
But it was her time as a graduate student at the University of Montana that has attracted the most attention during the nomination process.
Republicans seized on her involvement in a 1989 tree-spiking incident intended to block logging of a patch of the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho. At the time, Stone-Manning retyped and mailed an anonymous letter on behalf of an acquaintance warning the U.S. Forest Service that metal spikes had been hammered into the trees, a tactic dangerous to loggers if struck by chain saws.
Stone-Manning’s testimony during the subsequent trial helped send two people to prison, and she was granted immunity. She testified she sent the letter to warn authorities so people wouldn’t get hurt.
Republicans called her a radical who collaborated with eco-terrorists.