Letters From the West

Obama to pick REI chief Jewell for Interior Secretary


Sally Jewell nominated for Interior Secretary

President Barack Obama is going to nominate Sally Jewell, president and CEO of REI for Interior Secretary according to the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin.

The Seattle-based executive, trained as an engineer, has worked in the oil and gas industry and as a banker, giving her business credibility superior to Interior secretaries as long as I can remember. She has deftly led REI, a company that has revenue of $1.8 billion-a-year and has been an outspoken leader in the outdoor industry in environmental efforts.

I met her at the ceremony in 2011 for removing of the Elwha Dams near Port Angeles Washington, where she mixed comfortably with the environmentalists, Indians, and officials celebrating a seminal event in river restoration.

She is a westerner. She is an environmentalist. She is a business leader.

Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West