Sen. Tom Cotton rebukes Biden nominee who called kids an ‘environmental hazard’

Cotton: 'What is wrong with these people? Every baby is a precious gift from God'

Tom Cotton
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., speaks during a hearing to examine United States Special Operations Command and United States Cyber Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for fiscal year 2022 and the Future Years Defense Program, on Capitol Hill on March 25, 2021, in Washington, D.C. |

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., condemned President Joe Biden's nominee for the Bureau of Land Management for once describing children as an "environmental hazard" in her master's thesis supporting population control.

In late April, Biden announced the nomination of environmentalist Tracy Stone-Manning to be the director of the Bureau of Land Management.

In a post on Twitter Monday, Cotton posted a screenshot of an essay by Stone-Manning that included a photo of a child in a field and asked the question: "Can you find the environmental hazard in this photo?"

“Biden's BLM nominee thinks a ‘cute baby’ is actually an ‘environmental hazard,’” tweeted Cotton. “What is wrong with these people? Every baby is a precious gift from God.”

The essay, which was Stone-Manning's master’s thesis written circa 1992, argued the case for promoting environmentalist ads that encourage parents to have no more than two children.

Since her nomination, Stone-Manning has also garnered controversy for her ties to an eco-terrorist plot in 1989 in which environmental activists hammered hundreds of spikes into trees in a forest in Idaho that were slated for removal.

Stone-Manning, still a student at the time, wrote a letter to authorities taking credit for participating in the action, and defending the act by arguing that “this piece of land is very special to the earth.”

Tree spiking can cause serious injuries or even death for loggers. In 1987, for example, a 23-year-old mill worker in California had his jaw cut in half when his saw exploded upon striking an unnoticed tree spike.

These actions have led many Republicans, among them Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, to denounce Stone-Manning as a “radical” unfit to head the Bureau of Land Management.

“We need a land manager who understands, respects and implements multiple use of public lands, with which Americans in the West are particularly accustomed,” said Lummis last week.

“Under Ms. Stone-Manning, I’m very concerned that multiple use principles will change. The reason is quite simple: This nominee is a radical. She’s been involved with eco-terrorists in the past, including during a tree spiking incident in Idaho.”

Jeff Fairchild, who spent two months in prison for tree spiking, defended Stone-Manning in an interview with The Washington Post earlier this month.

“Other than the mailing of the letter, Tracy knew nothing and was not involved,” said Fairchild. “She was a bridge builder. She was a moderating voice in every discussion … She was always the one to say, ‘Hey, look, loggers have families, too.’”

For their part, the Biden administration is standing by Stone-Manning, giving a statement to Fox News in June in which they said she was “exceptionally qualified to be the next Director of the Bureau of Land Management.”

“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 Biden administration added. 

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