Interview: Stone-Manning talks about her plans for USBLM
Tracy Stone-Manning fell in love with the West in less than a weekend. Thirty years ago she flew from her home in Maryland to visit the University of Montana and decided if she didn’t get into graduate school there, she’d wait tables. She was accepted into the environmental studies program and stayed, meeting her husband and then spending their honeymoon backpacking across western Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness. She went on to serve as executive director of the Clark Fork Coalition, director of Montana’s Department of Environmental Quality, and senior advisor to U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.
And now she heads back east—to Washington, DC to be exact—as director of the Bureau of Land Management. The agency oversees about 245 million acres of western land, and it has been through five years of upheaval and dysfunction—it operated without a confirmed director for several years, and then lost nearly 300 staffers after lawmakers moved its headquarters from the nation’s capital to Grand Junction, Colorado.