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Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Rep. Dan Newhouse: Tracy Stone-Manning is dangerous for Washington and for rural America

UPDATED: Fri., July 23, 2021

By Rep. Dan Newhouse

By Rep. Dan Newhouse

Tracy Stone-Manning is an unacceptable nominee to serve as Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). More information about her past comes to light every day, each new piece more damning than the last. I have called on President Biden to rescind her nomination immediately, and now our senators must take a stand against this extreme ecoterrorist.

The Bureau of Land Management has an enormous impact on the lives and livelihoods of people throughout the Pacific Northwest. With 16.1 million acres of BLM land in our region, we deserve a director who understands and appreciates the complex nature of public land management and the priorities of Washington state.

As rural timber communities continue to struggle in the face of catastrophic wildfires, drought and climate change, we need a BLM director who will employ a reasoned, balanced approach.

Tracy Stone-Manning is not that person.

Recent evidence has come to light proving her to be even less fit for this, or any, position representing the people of the United States, than originally thought. As if her ties to ecoterrorism and blatant disregard for the lives of rural Americans weren’t enough to disqualify her, it is now abundantly clear that Ms. Stone-Manning has lied to the press, the Montana state legislature, and the United States Senate about her involvement in a 1989 tree spiking incident in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest.

For those who don’t know, tree spiking is an atrocious practice that involves hammering a metal rod into a tree trunk in order to prevent timber harvesting by harming loggers or coercing them to abandon timber sales through fear of physical harm. When a metal saw blade hits one of these embedded spikes, loggers risk serious injury or even death. Despite this, Tracy Stone-Manning decided to stand with these tree spikers and conceal their identities rather than alerting the authorities.

This dangerous practice costs innocent lives and livelihoods, and anyone who subscribes to acts of ecoterrorism is not suited to lead any federal agency, let alone one charged with overseeing our nation’s cherished public lands.

Our neighbor to the east and fellow representative of rural communities Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, spoke out strongly against her dangerous nomination, stating, “Some of my Democrat friends said she made a mistake. This was not a mistake. This was knowingly, willfully, intentionally, with malice aforethought, with a black and abandoned heart, attempting to murder people in the mills.” Unfortunately, Washington’s senators have yet to denounce her dangerous actions.

The Biden administration continues to stand by her nomination, calling her “exceptionally qualified to be the next Director of the Bureau of Land Management.” Someone who commits acts of ecoterrorism is the furthest from being qualified to manage our public lands.

In addition to a laundry list of concerning past actions, Stone-Manning is ideologically opposed to rural America. She argued in her University of Montana graduate thesis that livestock grazing on public land is “destroying the West.” As we know, this could not be further from the truth. Public grazing is a vital part of the agricultural economy throughout our region and has a number of science-based, environmental benefits, including increasing diversity of plant and animal species, reducing wildfire threat, and restoring wildlife habitats. If confirmed by the Senate to lead the BLM, Stone-Manning would control an agency that manages livestock grazing on 155 million acres of public lands.

Her nomination sends a distressing signal to rural communities, like ours in Washington state, that the Biden administration is more interested in appeasing the far left than the well-being of families and businesses.

The White House has admitted that they knew of Stone-Manning’s past before they nominated her. Why would President Biden nominate someone who has collaborated with ecoterrorists to manage our federal lands? Furthermore, why are our senators supporting this nomination?

I’ve already called on President Biden to pull back her nomination, to no avail. Now, it’s time for Sens. Murray and Cantwell to stand up for rural America and pull their support for Stone-Manning.

Daniel Newhouse is the U.S. Representative for Washington’s 4th Congressional District.

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