Head of REI to Dept. of Interior
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Greg Mumm, BRC Executive Director
Phone: (208) 244-2112
Date: February 7, 2013
Obama's pick to be the new Secretary of the Interior presents both challenges and opportunities for the OHV community.
POCATELLO, ID (February 7, 2013) -- President Barack Obama announced yesterday his choice of Sally Jewell to replace outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Jewell is the current CEO of Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI). She is described in the media as a former oil engineer, commercial banker and a pragmatic business leader who will "work with both parties and interest groups on all sides."
Greg Mumm, BRC's Executive Director, said he hoped Jewell's appointment would translate into expanding a diverse range of recreational pursuits on public lands and National Parks. "There needs to be a focus for providing both motorized and non-motorized uses. Recent management plans have closed nearly 50% of the roads and trails open for motorized recreation. There is a need for a better balance." Mumm notes any loss of motorized recreation on public lands locks out Americans who choose or are required to use OHVs for recreation, and fails to take advantage of the economic benefits of sustainable OHV and snowmobile use.
But Jewell's nomination comes with questions for the OHV and snowmobile community. One concern is the anti-OHV activism that has been a hallmark of both REI and the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), where Jewell serves as a board member. REI has long supported anti-access groups such as the Sierra Club and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. The NPCA has been at the forefront of many anti-OHV and OSV lawsuits at such places as Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.
On the other hand, Jewell's private sector ties hopefully reflect her understanding of recreation's unique place and potential importance to rural tourism and local economies. "We hope that, in her first role as a public servant, we see Sally Jewell balancing her personal predisposition to non-motorized recreation with legally supportable and just-as-popular forms of motorized recreation on both Park and non-Park lands," Mumm concluded.
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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org
This is generating quite a bit of conversation on various boards on both sides of the issue. A couple of the enviro sites are all gaga about it, but the general theme is one of mixed opinions...
Not a lot of hope for motorized there, given where she comes from. Have to wait and see what kind of marching orders come down if/when she gets in.
Might toss a lot of RAC nominations to the 4 winds...
Definately kiss Keystone Pipeline bye-bye.
I cant help but be concerned. REI has a long history of being very one sided on land use issues. Cant just be a coincidence that she ran the company.
Chairman Hastings Reaction to Nomination of Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Interior
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 6, 2013 - House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement on President Obama’s nomination of Recreational Equipment Inc., “REI” CEO Sally Jewell to be Secretary of the Interior.
“The Secretary of the Interior should be an advocate for protecting and actively harnessing our Nation’s lands and natural resources for public gain. If confirmed as Secretary of the Interior, I hope Sally Jewell would be able to balance the need for both the responsible use of our nation’s energy, mineral, timber and water resources and conservation. The agencies and programs overseen by the Interior Department help support millions of American jobs and bring in the second highest source of revenue to the Treasury. It is vital that the Secretary of the Interior demonstrates an understanding of the importance and value of protecting public access to public lands for a wide-range of purposes including job-creating economic activities, all-types of recreation, and conservation. It is also important that the Secretary of the Interior be transparent about the policies and actions taken by the Department and be willing to fully cooperate with Congressional oversight. I’ll be following the Senate confirmation process closely and look forward to learning more about Ms. Jewell’s background and priorities.”
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