Cache County Council to dabble in national politics

The Cache County Council will consider a resolution opposing the controversial nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning to serve as director of the federal Bureau of Land Management during a special session on Tuesday (Image courtesy of the National Wildlife Federation).

CACHE COUNTY – In an unusual foray into national politics, the Cache County Council will consider a resolution opposing President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the Bureau of Land Management during a special session slated for Tuesday evening.

Resolution 2021-17 accuses controversial nominee Tracy Stone-Manning of having long-standing ties to radical eco-terrorist groups and urges U.S. senators to reject her nomination.

Cache County Council Chair Gina Worthen explains that the text of Resolution 2021-17 was drafted by members of the Utah State Association of County Councils and Commissions (USACCC).

The Public Lands Committee of the Utah Association of Counties is now urging the leaders of every county in the state to pass similar resolutions and forward them to Utah’s Republican senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney.

Stone-Manning is currently employed as a conservation policy advisor at the National Wildlife Federation, a non-profit environmental group. Her professional experience includes serving as a staff member on conservation issues for Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, also a Democrat.

Stone-Manning’s supporters in Congress highlight her track record of negotiating compromises between environmentalists, agricultural interests and the energy industry.

Her mostly Republican critics argue that Stone-Manning’s radical associations will naturally make her biased against commercial development of public lands.

The stakes in the looming confirmation battle in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee are high.

In the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management oversees commercial use of nearly 250 million acres of public land, including grazing, logging and drilling operations. The BLM also controls mineral rights on 700 million acres, balancing the interests of the fossil fuel industry against those of outdoor recreationists and environmentalists.

Biden’s announced goal of phasing out oil and gas drilling on federal land has also made the BLM an ideological battleground between liberals and conservatives. That plan is being opposed in court by the GOP attorneys general from 15 states.

The text of the USACCC resolution lists several reasons why Stone-Manning should be considered unfit to serve as BLM director.

The resolution charges that Stone-Manning’s association with radical environmental groups like Earth First dates back four decades. It also alleges that she was granted immunity from prosecution in 1989 for testifying against her co-conspirators in a tree-spiking plot to sabotage logging operations in Idaho and lied during recent confirmation testimony that she had never been the subject of a federal investigation.

In late June, Robert Abbey, the former BLM director during the Obama administration, weighed in on Stone-Manning’s controversial nomination.

“If Stone-Manning participated in any aspect of planning, implementation or covering-up the spiking of trees,” he said, “then she should not be confirmed.”

The resolution also charges that Stone-Manning is on-record as opposing livestock grazing on public land; urging that human dwellings be abandoned to wildfires; and advocating for two-child-only population controls to protect the environment.

“Rejection of Tracy Stone-Manning nomination is necessary to preserve the faith and trust the BLM must have with state and county leaders as well as Americans in general,” the resolution concludes.

“Protecting public lands management from the blight of eco-terrorism, criminal conduct and the specter of China-style population control are at risk if the Senate does not reject the nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning.”

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to vote on Stone-Manning’s nomination in early August with a vote in the full Senate likely to follow.

The Cache County Council’s special meeting on Tuesday was originally scheduled to interview candidates for appointment to the elected post of county attorney, but Worthen said she added the USACCC resolution to that meeting’s agenda because “time is of the essence” for its consideration.

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1 Comment

  • Herm Olsen August 2, 2021 at 11:07 am Reply

    This reeks of partisan hypocrisy.
    Donald Trump’s nominee for head of the BLM was William Pendley.
    IF, IF the Cache County Council took a stand against his appointment as BLM Director – okay.
    This guy advocated for selling off Federal lands – and illegally remained even after a Federal Judge determined that he was serving illegally.
    He spent his entire professional career undermining America’s public lands. So – where was the Cache County Council debate on THIS guy?
    The Council is starting down a slippery slope if it starts wasting public resources and council time on partisan political issues.

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