WASHINGTON—In a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) voiced his opposition to the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to lead the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Senator Romney cited Stone-Manning’s past involvement in eco-terrorism and believes that her attempt to conceal her participation in these activities from the Senate disqualifies her from serving as the Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
His speech as prepared for delivery can be found below and video can be found here.
From our red rock canyons to our alpine meadows; from the sprawling salt flats to the towering mountain peaks, it’s hard to overstate the beauty of Utah’s majestic landscapes. So much about being a Utahn is our connection to and care for our land—these values have been engrained in our culture since the pioneers first found refuge here in 1847. We take great pride in the fact that folks from all over the country, and the world, travel to our state to experience these rich and diverse landscapes.
Out of all of the states in our country, Utah has one of the highest percentages of its land owned by the federal government—nearly two-thirds of our 52 million acres. And of that federal land, more than 23 million acres is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Now, this land has been cared for and used by Utahns for generations—recreationists and sportsmen who take advantage of the access to hike, hunt, mountain bike, ATV, and camp throughout our state; the ranchers who graze their livestock to provide our food and fiber; the communities that rely on the oil and gas development in the Basin, or the coal mines and power plants that provide more than 70% of our electricity; individuals interested in exploring the cultural anthropology of our land; and simply the residents that look to our open spaces for solitude.
Utahns deserve, and demand, that our public lands be managed by someone they can trust. And it is quite obvious that the President’s nominee for Director of the Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning, is not worthy of our trust.
Ms. Stone-Manning’s history of aiding ecoterrorism is extremely troubling—and alone should be disqualifying for the position in which she has been nominated. It would be like nominating Bernie Madoff to serve as Treasury Secretary!
For those who aren’t familiar with tree-spiking—an action with which Ms. Stone-Manning has been associated—let me offer a brief synopsis.
Tree-spiking involves hammering a metal or ceramic rod into a tree trunk with the purpose of preventing a tree from being logged. Loggers could be seriously harmed, or even killed, when they cut into the trunk of a tree that has been spiked. And the same goes for sawmill workers who are later processing the log in a mill. Ecoterrorists who engage in tree-spiking are willing to cause the gruesome injury or death of hardworking Americans who are simply trying to provide for their families.
But it’s not only her efforts aiding ecoterrorists that is of concern—it’s Ms. Stone-Manning’s blatant dishonesty about being investigated over a tree-spiking incident to the Senate that should disqualify her from serving as BLM Director.
I take my constitutional duty to provide advice and consent with regard to presidential nominees very seriously, and with limited exception, believe presidents—regardless of party—should be able to put in place qualified individuals to lead their team. I’ve supported several of President Biden’s nominees, even though I may have disagreed with them on particular policy issues because I believed they have been qualified for the position in which he or she had been nominated.
Simply put: Tracy Stone-Manning’s past involvement in ecoterrorism, and her attempt to conceal her participation before the Senate, make her unfit to serve as Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
I will be opposing her nomination and urge my Democratic friends—especially those who represent states with large amounts of federal land—to oppose her nomination, as well.