Moments before the U.S. Senate voted on Sept. 30 to confirm Tracy Stone-Manning as President Biden’s head of the Bureau of Land Management, Sen. Dan Sullivan gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, calling her a “violent eco terrorist” and urging his colleagues to reject her nomination.
Stone-Manning, who Biden nominated to lead the BLM, was once a member of the extreme environmentalist group, Earth First, which has a history of sabotage, property destruction and creating dangerous work environments for loggers.
Nevertheless, the Senate confirm her along a party-line vote, 50-45. Both Sullivan and Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted against the nominee. Five other Republicans did not vote.
In June, Sullivan urged Biden to withdraw Stone-Manning nomination due to her membership in a group that “performed violent acts as part of their platform for getting attention in America.”
Sullivan restated his opposition to Stone-Manning on Sept. 30, noting that the BLM director is a position with a “huge amount of power” over surface and subsurface activity across America, but especially in Alaska.
The BLM manages more surface and subsurface acres in Alaska than any other state in the union. This includes more than 70 million surface and 220 million subsurface acres.
Sullivan said it is “imperative” that someone with that much power be trustworthy, honest and fair minded and beyond reproach, and “certainly not to be involved in an organization that perpetuated violence against fellow Americans.”
Sullivan highlighted the fact that Stone-Manning was “complicit in putting metal spikes – big, thick ones – in trees that were meant to either threaten to hurt or gravely injure those Americans who were harvesting trees.”
Stone-Manning admitted in a 1993 court testimony that she wrote an anonymous warning letter to the FBI on behalf of one of her fellow Earth First activists, who had participated in a massive “tree spiking” operation in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest. That operation included embedded 500 pounds of spikes into Idaho trees that were set for harvest. Stone-Manning received immunity for testifying against her fellow activist who was later sentenced to 17 months in prison.
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Tree-spiking was a favored tactic of radical Earth First environmentalist in the 1980s and 1990s. It involves embedding large metal spikes that damage or destroy chainsaws and mill saws upon contact, thus putting loggers and others in serious danger.
Sullivan read an article detailing how a 23-year-old California mill worker, George Alexander, was nearly decapitated when his mill saw shattered due to an embedded tree spike in 1987. The incident caused the saw to break and slashed Alexander’s face from eye to chin, cutting his jaw in half.
“These were the kind of activities that Tracy Stone Manning once conspired in,” Sullivan said of tree spiking. “I wonder if that disturbs anybody?”