Biden nominee for land agency touted husband's suggestion to let houses caught in forest fires 'burn'

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President Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Tracy Stone-Manning, once touted her husband’s suggestion to let houses caught in forest fires “burn.”

Stone-Manning pushed her husband Richard Manning’s 2018 Harper’s Magazine article on wildfires where he wrote the “political issue” surrounding people living in or around forests is “easily solved” by having the federal government make fighting fires “a social contract.”

“Perhaps the feds should commit themselves to refusing to send in the troops to any county that has not taken such measures,” Manning wrote. “Perhaps the solution to houses in the interface is to let them burn.”

The president’s nominee to lead BLM, one of the agencies charged with fighting fires on federal land, shared her husband’s article and called it a “Clarion call.”

“Not a bad time to revisit this piece from my husband, Richard Manning, from two years ago,” Stone-Manning tweeted in September 2020. “Clarion call. #ActOnClimate”

“Tracy Stone-Manning fully endorsed her husband’s call to action that homes in the forest should be allowed to burn. He even called it a ‘satisfying justice.’ That’s dangerous and disturbing,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told Fox News in a Friday email.

“After collaborating with eco-terrorists, lying to the Senate, and tweeting her extreme ideas, how can anyone believe she should be in charge of almost 65 million acres of federal forests?” he continued.

Manning went on to write in his report that his writing “might seem harsh in light of the example of California” and that the people affected by the wildfires in California that year “committed no sin to merit this level of punishment.”

“Nevertheless, a video clip from Santa Rosa makes a case for severe action,” he continued.

Manning also wrote that there is “a rude and satisfying justice in burning down the house of someone who builds in the forest” before adding that “allowing his willful ignorance to destroy those of hundreds of more responsible neighbors is a travesty.”

Additionally, Stone-Manning’s husband wrote in the piece that people saying the Forest Service need to douse wildfires are “missing an unavoidable truth” in that “it doesn’t matter.”

“Put them out this year, and they will burn the next, hotter and angrier,” Manning wrote.

“Wilderness has no reasoning, no wishes, no preferences,” Manning also wrote. “Instead, it deploys death and fire to prepare the way for whatever is to come.”

Stone-Manning was granted legal immunity in exchange for testifying in court that she retyped and sent an anonymous letter to the U.S. Forest Service on behalf of John P. Blount, her former roommate and friend.

Tracy Stone-Manning listens during a confirmation hearing for her to be the director of the Bureau of Land Management, during a hearing of the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Washington. 
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The letter told the Forest Service that 500 pounds of “spikes measuring 8 to 10 inches in length” had been jammed into the trees of an Idaho forest. Tree-spiking is a dangerous tactic that has severely injured people, such as a mill worker whose jaw was split in two from an exploding saw.

Most recent, a retired federal agent involved in the probe said Stone-Manning was an early target in the ecoterrorism investigation, contradicting her claims to senators that she had never been the target of a federal investigation. 

The anonymous agent told E&E News last month that Stone-Manning “absolutely refused to do anything” to help with the investigation at first and only complied with law enforcement after “she was caught.”

Stone-Manning wrote on her standard Senate committee questionnaire that she had not been the subject of any investigation but touched on her involvement in the tree-spiking court case.

The nominee’s past statements also appear to contradict her answer on the questionnaire. 

Stone-Manning was one of seven people subpoenaed for fingerprints, hair samples, palm prints and handwriting samples as part of a grand jury investigation into the tree spiking, the Montana Kaimin reported in 1989.  

It was also revealed that Stone-Manning called for population control to protect the environment in her graduate thesis, writing the U.S. “must breed fewer consuming humans.”

A White House official told Fox News last month that the administration is standing behind her nomination.

“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 official said. “She is exceptionally qualified to be the next Director of the Bureau of Land Management.”

The White House did not return Fox News’ request for comment.

Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene

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