- President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management advocated for population control in her 1992 graduate thesis.
- Multiple Republican senators have called for Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination to be revoked following reports of her involvement in a 1989 eco-terrorism case that led to the conviction of her former roommate and friend.
President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning, advocated for population control in her 1992 graduate thesis.
“The origin of our abuses is us. If there were fewer of us, we would have less impact,” Stone-Manning wrote in her thesis. “We must consume less, and more importantly, we must breed fewer consuming humans.”
Stone-Manning’s thesis centered around eight advertisements she created to bring attention to overpopulation, overgrazing, the timber industry and a mining law.
The first advertisement in the paper featured a picture of a baby with the words: “Can you find the environmental hazard in this photo?”
“That’s right, it’s the cute baby,” the advertisement read. “Americans believe that overpopulation is only a problem somewhere else in the world. But it’s a problem here too.
“The earth is only so big, and we can tap into it only so often. In America, we tap in often and hard,” Stone-Manning wrote. “When we overpopulate, the earth notices it more. Stop at two. It could be the best thing you do for the planet.”
Stone-Manning also wrote a script for a 30-second television ad featuring a woman drinking coffee in a “yuppie home” and thinking to herself about having a third child.
“I know it would be my third baby, but there’s not a population problem here like in Africa or India. And besides, smart people like Bob and me should be the people having kids,” the woman says in Stone-Manning’s script.
The script then cuts to montage footage of a smokestack, a traffic jam and an overflowing landfill with a female voiceover stating: “A child born in America will burn 499 times more energy than a child born in Ethiopia. And each year, Americans add 2 million energy-eating humans to the earth. We consume one quarter of all the world’s resources, simply by living as Americans.”
“When we have children, the planet feels it more,” the script says. “Do the truly smart thing. Stop at one or two kids.”
Stone-Manning wrote that the advertisements were designed to be “ironic and shocking, because irony and shock have value. They stop readers and viewers, making them pay attention.”
The White House and BLM did not immediately return requests for comment.
Republican opposition to Stone-Manning’s confirmation has grown considerably in recent weeks following reports of her involvement in a 1989 eco-terrorism case.
Stone-Manning told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in May that she had never been the target of a federal criminal investigation. But numerous reports, law enforcement accounts and statements from Stone-Manning herself suggest she was a target of a federal investigation into a tree spiking incident.
Stone-Manning received legal immunity to testify in a 1993 criminal trial that she sent an anonymous and threatening letter to the U.S. Forest Service warning that a local forest had been sabotaged with tree spikes. Her testimony led to the conviction of a man she identified as her former roommate and friend.
Tree spiking, which The Washington Post and other news outlets have described as an eco-terrorism tactic, is a form of sabotage in which metal spikes are nailed into trees to make them unsafe to log. If gone unnoticed, tree spikes can cause serious injuries to workers.
The Montana Kaimin reported in October 1989 that Stone-Manning was among seven individuals who were served with subpoenas and forced to provide fingerprints, palm prints, handwriting samples and hair samples to a federal grand jury investigating the matter.
Stone-Manning herself was quoted in a 1990 news report expressing her anger over her “degrading” experience with the FBI.
Protect the Public’s Trust, a government watchdog group, filed a complaint on Tuesday with the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia demanding an investigation into whether Stone-Manning violated federal law by providing false testimony to Congress.
The ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, called on Biden last week to withdraw Stone-Manning’s nomination.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota told E&E News on Tuesday that Stone-Manning is a “bad nominee who should be defeated.”
“The idea that you would go pound some of these nails into trees seems disqualifying on a lot of levels, and I suspect that there won’t be many on our side who think that she’s a good nominee,” Thune told the outlet.
Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford accused Stone-Manning of “giving false answers to our questions.”
Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan also called on Stone-Manning’s nomination to be revoked over her involvement in the tree spiking incident.
“Here is something that should be very simple for all of us,” he said on the Senate floor on Monday. “No matter how young, no matter how naive, the director of the Bureau of Land Management for the United States of America should not — and I repeat, should not — have ever been involved in eco-terrorism.
Republican Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski told reporters on Wednesday she will not vote in favor of Stone-Manning’s confirmation.
Stone-Manning has also faced criticism from her own side of the political aisle.
Former BLM Director Bob Abbey, who led the agency during most of former President Barack Obama’s first term, said Stone-Manning’s involvement in the eco-terrorism case is disqualifying.
“BLM needs a really strong leader,” Abbey 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.”
The White House remained supportive of Stone-Manning amid the blowback.
“Tracy Stone-Manning is a dedicated public servant who has years of experience and a proven track record of finding solutions and common ground when it comes to our public lands and waters,” the White House said in a Tuesday statement, according to Fox News. “She is exceptionally qualified to be the next Director of the Bureau of Land Management.”
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) June 24, 2021
A vote on Stone-Manning’s confirmation has not yet been scheduled.
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