A major Idaho trade organization representing loggers sent a letter to Senate lawmakers to protest President Joe Biden’s nomination of a former ecoterrorist, Tracy Stone-Manning, to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The Associated Logging Contractors of Idaho (ALC-Idaho), wrote to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday highlighting Stone-Manning’s role in a 1989 tree spiking incident, wherein left-wing environmental terrorists jammed metal rods into trees which turn into lethal projectiles when processed for logging.
“Tree spiking is a terrorist action that causes grave danger, including the loss of life, to loggers and to mill workers when a saw hits that metal,” wrote ACL-Idaho Executive Director Shawn Keough in a letter obtained by The Federalist. “Stone-Manning was involved and has admitted to her part in these terrorist activities that placed lives at risk.”
In 1993, Stone-Manning accepted legal immunity for her role in a 1989 case that targeted the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho, in exchange for testimony against other co-conspirators.
Stone-Manning admitted in court she retyped and sent an anonymous letter to the U.S. Forest Service for her friend and former roommate, John T. Blount, warning 500 pounds of “spikes measuring 8 to 10 inches” in length were driven high into the trees in a portion of the forest targeted for harvest.
“P.S., You bastards go in there anyway and a lot of people are going to get hurt,” the letter finished, a copy of which was obtained and reviewed by The Federalist.
Earlier this month, Idaho Republican Sen. James Risch pressed U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen on whether the agency had a program to root out the spikes, some of which are 150 feet above ground, which may still possess the potential shrapnel in them today.
“The Post Office Sale,” Risch explained, in reference to a timber sale hampered by the activists, “has trees still standing that have had tree spikes in them.”
Christiansen said she wasn’t aware of any such agency to remove the spikes, and said she would get back to Risch’s office after investigating further.
Risch’s office has not yet told The Federalist whether Christiansen has returned a more comprehensive answer to the senator two weeks later.
When reached by phone, a representative from an outpost at the Clearwater National Forest deferred the question of whether spiked trees remain standing three decades later to the forest’s timber contractor Mark Craig, who did not immediately respond to The Federalist’s inquiry.
Keough, explained employees of the group’s nearly 500 industry businesses the ACL-Idaho represents vividly remember the terror of the 1989 tree spiking case Stone-Manning was involved.
“Many of the ACL-Idaho’s members are multi-generational family businesses and a good portion live near and work in the Clearwater National Forest,” Keough wrote. “The memory of the eco-terrorist activities in the late 1980s and into the 1990s is embedded in the community.”
Since her nomination in April, Stone-Manning has sought to downplay her role as an ecoterrorist. In May, Stone-Manning told Senate lawmakers on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in a written answer to a standard questionnaire she had never been the target of a federal investigation. The questionnaire inquired if the BLM nominee had “ever been investigated, arrested, or charged by any federal, state, or local law enforcement authority for the violation of any federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance, other than a minor traffic offense.”
Stone-Manning wrote she had “never been arrested or charged and to my knowledge I have never been the target of such an investigation.”
Stone-Manning was well aware she was being investigated by federal authorities in the 1989 tree spiking case, and even complained about it to the local press.
“It was degrading,” she told the Spokesman-Review. “It changed my awareness of the power of the government. Yes, this is happening to me and not someone in Panama. And yes, the government does do bad things sometimes.”
A retired federal law enforcement official who was on the case also told E&E News last week Stone-Manning was absolutely a primary target in the case.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity with the energy outlet to speak candidly, they said Stone-Manning was reluctant to cooperate and set back the investigators by years.
“She absolutely refused to do anything,” they said.
Republicans on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, including swing-vote moderate Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowsi, have now come out opposed to Stone-Manning’s confirmation. The White House stands by their nominee, as have other Democrats such as Montana Sen. Jon Tester, for whom Stone-Manning who is from Montana, once worked as a legislative aide.
Biden’s pick to lead the Bureau of Land Management has also come under fire for her 1992 graduate thesis where she advocated for a Chinese-style child cap in the name of environmental stewardship, declaring the Earth overpopulated.
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