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Boebert amendment to bar Interior from paying salaries of ecoterrorists defeated

Washington, September 2, 2021 | Jessica Lycos (202-379-6385)

A House committee voted down a proposal Thursday that would have prevented the Interior Department from paying employees involved in ecoterrorism, a thinly veiled swipe at Tracy Stone-Manning, President Biden’s pick to lead the Bureau of Land Management. 

During the budget reconciliation markup session, the House Natural Resources Committee rejected on a voice vote the proposed amendment by Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican, who said it “should be an absolute no-brainer.”

“It prevents the Department of Interior from paying the salary of anyone involved in ecoterrorism,” Ms. Boebert said. “Tree-spiking is a disgusting form of terrorism that injures innocent Americans just trying to do their jobs. This amendment should receive bipartisan support.”

She made reference to Ms. Stone-Manning, who received prosecutorial immunity to testify in a 1993 tree-spiking case after admitting to editing, retyping and mailing an anonymous letter on behalf of the perpetrators warning of the sabotaged trees in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest.

Ms. Stone-Manning said she was unaware of the tree-spiking until afterward, although the now-retired lead investigator on the case told the committee in a July letter that she stonewalled the 1989 investigation and refused to cooperate until another witness connected her to the planning.

Three decades later, those spikes are still in the Clearwater timber.

“This individual is still currently involved in ecoterrorism,” Ms. Boebert said. “If you go and put bombs or grenades out in the forest, and leave them there, and then say, oh, I don’t have anything to do with it anymore, no, they’re still there. They could still kill someone. Tree-spiking is intended to kill people.”

Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva disagreed, calling the amendment “a solution in search of a problem.”

“There are not ecoterrorists trying to infiltrate the Interior Department,” said the Arizona Democrat. “This amendment is messaging.”

Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona Republican, said that lawmakers need to be “holding people accountable for actions like terrorism,” while Rep. Betty McCollum, Minnesota Democrat, accused Republicans of a double standard, citing the 2014 Bundy standoff in Nevada.

“I did not hear any outrage from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle on that,” Ms. McCollum said. “If we’re going to talk about full enforcement and holding people accountable, sign me up, but let’s make sure we hold everybody accountable.”

She added that Ms. Stone-Manning is “going to go through a full Senate confirmation, and we’re doing a character assassination.”

The full Senate has yet to take up Ms. Stone-Manning’s nomination, which was discharged July 27 after the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee split on the nominee along party lines.

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