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Conservationists Laud Choice of Stone-Manning to Head BLM

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Monday, May 10, 2021   

MOAB, Utah -- Conservationists in Utah and across the West are praising the Biden administration's nomination of Tracy Stone-Manning, a longtime veteran of the fight to preserve public lands, to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Since 2017, Stone-Manning has served as senior advisor for Conservation Policy at the National Wildlife Federation. Prior to that, she was chief of staff for Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and director of that state's Department of Environmental Quality.

Brett Prettyman, chair of the Utah Wildlife Federation, said after four years of BLM policies fashioned by oil-industry insiders, Stone-Manning is the right person at the right time.

"This is really vital for us to have somebody who can split the differences and be a collaborative partner in taking care of the landscapes of the West," Prettyman contended. "It's something that's been missing in recent years."

While Stone-Manning's nomination has strong support among Democrats, she could face a fight with Senate Republicans for her opposition to moving BLM headquarters to Colorado, and her call to block the nomination of her predecessor, oil industry attorney William Perry Pendley, to head the agency.

Shortly after his inauguration, President Joe Biden ordered the BLM to review its oil and gas leasing program and align its management of public lands and waters with his climate, conservation, and clean-energy goals.

Prettyman believes Stone-Manning is well-suited to deal with public-land issues.

"Grazing is a very big issue in the West, and I think she's aware of that," Prettyman explained. "She's been able to work on issues like that in the past. And I feel like she's got a lot of experience that's going to help her represent interests for the BLM in Utah and across the West."

Prettyman added Stone-Manning's history of collaboration will bring disparate groups and stakeholders together to determine the best way to manage the BLM's 900 million acres of public land and water.

"It takes partnerships to get things done, and it takes vision to recognize the value of the landscape in more ways than financial gain for industry," Prettyman asserted.

Senate leaders have not yet set a date for Stone-Manning's confirmation hearings.

Disclosure: National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Salmon Recovery, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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