Lankford, Energy Committee Republicans Call on Biden to Withdraw Stone-Manning’s Nomination

WASHINGTON, DC –  Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined all of the Republican members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) to send a letter to President Biden calling on him to withdraw the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to serve as director of the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Lankford was joined in sending the letter by Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senators Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Lee (R-UT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Hoeven (R-ND), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Roger Marshall (R-KS).

In the letter, the senators highlight the false and misleading statements Stone-Manning made in a sworn statement to ENR. They also point out her extremist activities that disqualify her for this important position. The senators included an appendix with the letter that details the facts of the case and demonstrates why Stone-Manning’s nomination must be withdrawn.

Read the full letter HERE and below.

Dear President Biden:

We request that you withdraw the nomination of Ms. Tracy Stone-Manning to serve as Director of the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

We do not make this request lightly. Ms. Stone-Manning has made false and misleading statements in a sworn statement to the US 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. Tree spiking involves hammering a metal rod, nail, or other material into a tree trunk, either at the base where a logger might cut into the tree, or higher up where it would affect a sawmill that later processes the wood. Tree spiking causes damage to saws – and to the loggers and sawmill workers using them—if the tree is cut. A logger or sawmill worker may suffer serious injury or even death if his or her saw cuts into a tree spike and breaks. In fact, the lives of the head sawyer and other sawmill workers at Plum Creek Manufacturing’s sawmill in Pablo, Montana were endangered when their saw hit one of the tree spikes from the 1989 incident. Wildland firefighters are also at risk from tree spikes. It is our understanding that some of the tree spikes from the 1989 incident are still in place and remain a serious threat to public safety today.

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. As you are aware, the BLM manages one in every ten acres of land in the United States, and approximately thirty percent of the nation’s minerals. The BLM also manages close to 65 million acres of forests and woodlands across twelve western states and Alaska. Any individual who leads this important agency must have the faith and trust of the American people. Ms. Stone-Manning has violated this trust.

President Obama’s first Director of the BLM, Bob Abbey, initially endorsed Ms. Stone-Manning’s nomination, but has now retracted his support in light of recent reports about her activities associated with the tree spiking event. In an article published in the Daily Montanan on June 18, 2021 entitled “Stone-Manning’s nomination doomed after tree-spiking incident?,” Mr. Abbey was quoted as stating that Ms. Stone-Manning’s involvement with the tree spiking event “should disqualify her” from serving as Director of the BLM. “BLM needs a really strong leader,” he said. “To put someone in that position that has this type of resume will just bring needless controversy that is not good for the agency or for the public lands.” 

Attached is an Appendix presenting the facts supporting why Ms. Stone-Manning’s nomination must be withdrawn. We look forward to working with you to approve a nominee that respects the rule of law and is committed to protecting American lives. Your favorable consideration of this important request is greatly appreciated.