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Conservation Groups Applaud Montanan Picked to Head BLM


Thursday, May 13, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. -- Conservationists are praising President Joe Biden's selection to head the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Tracy Stone-Manning is a Montanan and senior advisor for conservation policy at the National Wildlife Federation who has worked with the office of Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., served as director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and chief of staff for Gov. Steve Bullock.

Marcia Brownlee, program manager for the Artemis Sportswomen initiative at the National Wildlife Federation, has worked with Stone-Manning for the past three years.

"There's no doubt in my mind that she's the director the Bureau of Land Management absolutely needs right now to conserve, restore and steward our public lands for all users," Brownlee asserted. "She's a hunter herself, and I've had many wonderful conversations about her time in the field as a hunter."

The BLM has not had a Senate-confirmed director since 2017. If confirmed, Stone-Manning would be responsible for managing 10,000 employees, 245 million surface acres of land, and the nation's onshore mineral estate.

Frank Szollosi, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation, believes Stone-Manning will bring a more balanced approach to management than under the Trump administration, which moved to prioritize oil and gas drilling on public lands.

He stressed her nomination is important for everyone from hunters and anglers to timber companies.

"Tracy is someone you work with when you want to get things done, and she has a long record of working with folks in every sector of our economy," Szollosi recounted. "So I guess the word I would use would be 'thrilled.'"

Brownlee added Stone-Manning has helped solve hard conservation problems in the past, pointing to her work with the Clark Fork Coalition to clean up the largest Superfund site in the country.

"She's got a proven track record of an ability to bring complicated and diverse interests to the table," Brownlee concluded.

The BLM manages eight million acres of land in Montana.

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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