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Biden Nominates Stone-Manning with Questionable Past for Public Lands

As the Biden administration’s nominees for bureaucratic office continue to go through Senate confirmations, the nominee for the head of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Tracy Stone-Manning, has come under fire for collaborating with eco-terrorists in 1993.

Although she was granted legal immunity for testimony, her former roommate and co-conspirator was sentenced to 17 months in prison for putting metal spikes in trees with the intention of breaking the saws or harming the saw operators. As a result of her controversial partisan past, questions abound as to the legitimacy and qualifications of Tracy Stone-Manning serving as the director of the Bureau of Land Management.

The Big Picture

Tracy Stone-Manning represents yet another of the Biden administration’s nominees with a questionable past. Not only does Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination represent a stark contrast to the Trump administration’s focus on the importance of oil and gas companies to the economy, she also represents a shaky face to lead an already failing land bureau. Over the last four years, the bureau has lost almost 300 employees as a result of retirement, resignation, and mainly a relocation of its headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Grand Junction, Colorado.

The Details

Who is Tracy Stone-Manning?

  • Tracy Stone-Manning worked as a chief of staff to former Montana Democratic Governor Steve Bullock and played a major role in his various campaigns.
  • In a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, numerous Republicans criticized her, with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) saying “You’ve been incredibly partisan in your past. It seems like from your heart, you really don’t care for Republicans.”
  • When working for former Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), she also worked for a nonprofit group that focused on cleaning up a large contaminated Superfund site: Montana’s Clark Fork River.
  • In the committee hearing, Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) questioned Stone-Manning with regard to a suspicious personal loan of up to $100,000 at a little under half the interest rate for a typical consumer from a Missouri developer.
  • The former head of the Bureau of Land Management under Obama called for the withdrawal of Stone-Manning’s nomination after initially supporting her stating that he is “now one of the people who believe that she should withdraw her name from further consideration for the BLM director position.”
  • Abbey further stated that "As a 30-year BLM career employee, I don't take her actions lightly, nor should anyone else… If Stone-Manning participated in any aspect of planning, implementation or cover-up in the spiking of trees, then she should not be confirmed."

The importance of the Bureau of Land Management:

  • The BLM has over 10,000 employees across the country and has jurisdiction over 245 million acres of land in the United States, or approximately 1/10th of the entire United States.
  • According to the website, the bureau uses its land for a “broad range of uses, including outdoor recreation, mineral development, and energy production, and the conservation of natural, historical and cultural resources.”
  • Much of the Bureau of Land Management land is an instrumental part in the development of renewable power and the extraction of fossil fuels, with the Biden administration blocking the growth of the latter.
  • Under the Trump administration, the Bureau of Land Management’s size shrunk as the administration focused on minimizing the size of the “fourth branch” of government and government as a whole.

Why It Matters

Due to Tracy Stone-Manning’s questionable and partisan past, her nomination represents yet another attempt from the Biden administration of putting an unqualified and inane individual in a position of power that only serves to increase the size of government.