(Office of Senator Jim Risch Press Release, June 16, 2021)
WASHINGTON – Following her hearing in front of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, it came to light that Tracy Stone-Manning, President Biden’s nominee to serve as Director of the Bureau of Land Management, aided a tree spiking scheme – long considered an act of eco-terrorism – in Clearwater National Forest in Idaho. After this information became public, Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) spoke out against her nomination:
“Tracy Stone-Manning colluded with eco-terrorists who conducted extremist operations that aimed to maim and kill Idaho’s loggers and sawmill workers. Now she’s nominated to lead the largest land management agency in America,” said Risch. “We cannot ask Bureau of Land Management employees to serve under a director who aided those who endangered the land users they work on behalf of each day.”
Background: Tree spiking – hammering metal spikes into tree trunks to discourage logging – is considered an act of eco-terrorism because it can maim or kill loggers and mill workers. In 1987, a 23-year-old mill worker had his face maimed when a spiked tree caused his saw to explode.
Two years later, Biden nominee Tracy Stone-Manning — a then-member of radical environmental group Earth First! — rented a typewriter and sent a threatening, profanity-laden letter to the Forest Service on behalf of her former roommate and friend, John Blount, that Earth First! members had unloaded 500 pounds of spikes into the Clearwater National Forest in Idaho.
Stone-Manning admitted to mailing the letter in 1989, and in 1993, was granted legal immunity to testify against Blount, who led the tree spiking operation. Blount was convicted and sentenced to 17 months in prison.