‘Stop at two’: Biden BLM nominee argued for population control in graduate thesis
Andrew Kerr, DCNF
- President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Bureau of Land Management advocated for population control in her 1992 graduate thesis.
- Tracy Stone-Manning produced a magazine advertisement for her thesis that called a shirtless American baby an “environmental hazard.”
- “When we have children, the planet feels it more. Do the truly smart thing. Stop at one or two kids,” Stone-Manning wrote in her thesis.
- Multiple high-ranking Republican Senators have called for Stone-Manning’s nomination to be revoked following Daily Caller News Foundation reporting 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 (BLM), 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 also argued in her thesis that livestock grazing on public land is “destroying the West.” If confirmed by the Senate to lead the BLM, Stone-Manning would control an agency that manages livestock grazing on 155 million acres of public lands.
Stone-Manning’s thesis was centered around eight advertisements she created to bring attention to issues of overpopulation, overgrazing, the corporate timber industry and an 1872 mining law. She argued that the environmental movement “desperately needs to use advertising’s ubiquitous power if it is to capture mainstream America.”
The first advertisement featured in the paper was a picture of a shirtless American baby with the headline: “Can you find the environmental hazard in this photo?”
“That’s right, it’s the cute baby,” Stone-Manning’s advertisement read under the picture. “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,” she 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 an American woman drinking coffee in a “yuppie home” 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 said in Stone-Manning’s script.
The script then cuts to a montage featuring footage of smokestacks, dams, traffic jams and overflowing landfills 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 states. “Do the truly smart thing. Stop at one or two kids.”
Stone-Manning wrote that she targeted the ads towards men and women planning their families and designed them to “tug at the root of many of our environmental horrors, overpopulation.”
“The point is a simple one,” she wrote. “Harshly, the ads say that the earth can’t afford Americans. More softly, they ask people to think about how their family planning choices affect the planet.”
Stone-Manning also created advertisements calling attention to overgrazing on public lands. She featured a print advertisement in her thesis saying that people would “have a cow” if they saw what grazing does to public lands.
“It is overgrazed. Most likely, the grasses won’t grow back, because the topsoil took flight,” she wrote. “Worse still, the government encourages this destruction. it charges ranchers under $2 a month to graze each cow and its calf on public land — your land.”
Stone-Manning wrote that the eight advertisements she made for her thesis 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 return requests for comment.
Republican opposition to Stone-Manning’s confirmation has grown considerably in recent weeks following reports by the Daily Caller News Foundation and other outlets about her involvement in a 1989 tree spiking incident.
Stone-Manning told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in writing in May that she had never been the target of a federal criminal investigation, but numerous news reports, accounts of federal law enforcement officials and statements from Stone-Manning herself at the time of the tree-spiking incident and subsequent criminal trial strongly suggest she was a target of the federal government’s investigation.
Stone-Manning received legal immunity to testify in the 1993 criminal trial over the matter that she sent an anonymous and threatening letter to the 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 for workers.
The Montana Kaimin reported in October 1989 that Stone-Manning was among the 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 article expressing her anger at the “degrading” experience the FBI subjected her to during their investigation.
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.
“In answering the committee’s official questionnaire, Ms. Stone-Manning appears to have knowingly and willfully concealed or covered up a material fact in order to deceive the U.S. Senate and the American public about the true nature of her involvement in an eco-terrorism case,” the watchdog group wrote in a statement. “She was granted immunity for her testimony in the case that resulted in at least one individual serving prison time. The facts, including as revealed by a U.S. Attorney and Ms. Stone-Manning’s previous assertions, warrant a full investigation.”
Multiple Republican senators have accused Stone-Manning of providing false answers to the committee in regards to her involvement in the tree spiking incident and called for her nomination to be revoked.
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 for intentionally deceiving the committee about her involvement in the matter.
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.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford also accused Stone-Manning of “giving false answers to our questions,” according to E&E News.
Alaska Republican 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 floor of the Senate on Monday, according to E&E News. “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.
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski also told reporters Wednesday she will not vote in favor of Stone-Manning’s nomination.
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’s nomination 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 statement Tuesday, according to Fox News. “She is exceptionally qualified to be the next Director of the Bureau of Land Management.”
A vote for Stone-Manning’s nomination has not yet been scheduled.