The news that President Obama has selected REI CEO Sally Jewell to lead the U.S. Department of Interior is encouraging for backcountry hunters and anglers who rely on quality wildlife habitat to continue our traditional, non-motorized sporting heritage.
Ms. Jewell was a key stakeholder in discussions to craft President Obama's America's Great Outdoors program, an agenda for the 21st Century to support community-driven outdoor recreation initiatives that was widely embraced by the sportsmen community. We hope she builds on that experience as Interior Secretary and pursues a balanced approach that prioritizes sportsmen access and protection of critical wildlife habitat and puts energy development on equal footing with protection of our public land and water.
A major factor in Ms. Jewell’s favor is her understanding of western issues in particular. She is the CEO of REI(Recreational Equipment Incorporated), a Seattle-based business steeped in a tradition of meeting the needs of non-motorized outdoor recreationists. But Ms. Jewell doesn’t come with stars in her eyes: her years working at Mobil as well as in the banking industry means she understands finance and the impact of oil and gas development. We hope her understanding of the importance of outdoor recreation will help strike a balance between protecting our public land, water and wildlife and energy development. BHA will stand ready to engage in conversations around the importance of protecting habitat so hunters and anglers can carry on a cherished, traditional outdoor lifestyle.