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GOP Sen. John Barrasso raised fresh concerns about President Biden’s director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over her involvement in a tree-spiking incident he described as ‘domestic terrorism.’
The Wyoming Republican, a ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, sent a follow-up letter to a July note he had written demanding Stone-Manning provide answers on her checkered past.
Stone-Manning was approved 50-45 in September on a party-line vote, and was the first Senate-confirmed BLM director in 5 years.
In 1989, Stone-Manning was involved with a group that 500 pounds of metal spikes into trees in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest.
Stone-Manning was approved 50-45 in September on a party-line vote, and was the first Senate-confirmed BLM director in 5 years
Barrasso also questioned a lone of $50,000 that Stone-Manning took in 2008 during the financial crisis from a Montana real estate developer, which Republicans says she got at a below-market rate while she worked on Sen. John Tester’s staff
Tree spiking involves hammering a metal rod into a tree trunk where a logger might cut into the tree and has been labeled a form of eco-terrorism in the US. The practice can risk damaging the tree’s value or the saw used to cut it down, and also injury or death to the logger, without killing the tree.
That same year, Stone-Manning authored an anonymous letter to the US Forest Service on behalf of her fellow young environmentalists, part of EarthFirst!, warning that someone had spiked the trees in the Idaho forest that was slated to be cut down.
Barrasso also questioned a lone of $50,000 that Stone-Manning took in 2008 during the financial crisis from a Montana real estate developer, which Republicans says she got at a below-market rate while she worked on Democratic Sen. John Tester’s staff.
‘Almost four months has passed, and the Committee has still not received your responses to the follow-up questions for the record asked by its members,’ Barrasso wrote in a letter seen by DailyMail.com.
‘Ensuring the American public has complete and full answers to these questions is important to all citizens who utilize our public lands and whose livelihoods depend on them,’ he added.
Barrasso set a Nov. 11 deadline for Stone-Manning to respond.
The senator has also noted that Stone-Manning told the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in answers to a questionnaire that she had never been under investigation for the incident, which was not true.
The question asked if she 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 that she had ‘never been arrested or charged and to my knowledge, I have never been the target of such an investigation.’
But Stone-Manning told the Spokesman-Review in August 1990 that she had been investigated by the FBI.
‘It was degrading. It changed my awareness of the power of government,’ she said, at the time a graduate student at the University of Montana. ‘Yes, this was happening to me and not someone in Panama. And, yes, the government does bad things sometimes.’
Bob Abbey, the first BLM director under President Barack Obama, said the incident ‘should disqualify her’ from leading the agency.
‘BLM needs a really strong leader,’ he said. ‘To put someone in that position that has this type of resume will just bring needless controversy that is not good for the agency or for the public lands.’
But the White House, as well as other Democrats, stood by Manning, whose bureau oversees 10,000 employees and manages about an eighth of the nation’s land.
She will now be tasked with implementing some of the president’s key environmental goals such as setting aside 30 percent of then nation’s land and waters for conservation and winding down oil and gas drilling on federal land.
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