RECENTLY, I learned that President Joe Biden has nominated a person as director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) who is “awaiting a vote by the Senate”; the name of that person is Tracy Stone-Manning.
As a longtime forest landowner and certified tree farmer, I and many others are strongly opposed to this person who certainly is not qualified for the director’s position of the BLM. The Thomson Family Tree Farm is also a member of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, which, in turn, is a member of the American Loggers Council. The American Loggers Council, opposes the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning.
The BLM is made up of 10,000 employees, which the director would oversee, along with another 300 law enforcement rangers and special agents. The BLM is also responsible for 245 million acres of public land or 10% of the total landmass in the United States. Some of that public land is used, as mandated by Congress, for the sustainable harvesting of timber resources.
A recent op-ed by William Perry Pendley (bit.ly/2Zwfnc9) spotlights the history of this radical choice President Biden has picked to head up the BLM, as well as her involvement years ago with the “Earth First” radical environmental group. Tracy Stone-Manning was very much involved in what is known as “Tree Spiking” in 1989 in an effort to stop an approved logging sale on the national forest timberland in Idaho.
As New Hampshire’s U.S. senators know, any timber sale on federal land goes through a long, well-vetted process before it is approved. Then a forester marks with paint the trees to be cut. Shortly after the trees were marked, large metal spikes 8 to 10 inches long were driven into the marked trees by Earth First, eco-terrorism that created mayhem for the loggers cutting these trees and then workers handling them in sawmills. One California mill worker was permanently disfigured and nearly killed by a spiked tree.
Tracy Stone-Manning has never admitted to her involvement in this federal crime for which some were sent to prison, nor has she apologized or expressed regret for her actions or those of Earth First radicals. In a document she completed for the U.S. Senate, she even claims to have never been the subject of a federal investigation.
I have owned forestland for more than 60 years and have seen many positive changes in the forest industry. Despite all the safety and the sophisticated computerized forest equipment we have today to satisfy this nation’s wood consumption, it remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Why would President Joe Biden put someone like Tracy Stone-Manning in this position knowing that she purposely made the jobs of loggers and sawmill workers even more dangerous by her involvement with those who spike trees?
The Thomson Family Tree Farm asks that Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen vote no on President Biden’s pick, Tracy Stone-Manning, for this important position as director of the Bureau of Land Management, knowing her background with Earth First.
We will be watching how our New Hampshire senators vote on this important position. We hope they make the right choice.