Environment & Public Lands
3:15 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Interior Appointment Applauded

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  President Obama's appointment of a new Secretary of the Interior is winning qualified praise from environmentalists and at least one member of the Utah Congressional delegation.

The president picked Sally Jewell, the top executive of REI, the outdoor equipment retailer, to replace Ken Salazar.  Tim Wagner with the Sierra Club says that's a good choice.

"She obviously has demonstrated a real knack for business and the recreation industry, heading up REI, which has always been a big supporter of a lot of the things that we support," Wagner tells KUER.  

Republican Congressman Rob Bishop, who chairs the House Public Lands Subcommittee, says it also seems like a good appointment.

"As long as her decisions in the future at the Department of the Interior take in the multiple users and the multiple resources and the multiple obligations of it," he says, "then I'm going to be interested in that."

Jewell also won praise from the drilling industry trade group Western Energy Alliance and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, which called her "an impressive nominee."

The Department of the Interior oversees many areas that affect Utah, including national parks and monuments, mine safety, Native American affairs, oil and gas drilling as well as mining on public land and payments to local counties to offset the costs of services to public land.