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Jewell is a good pick for the job, say advocates

Published February 6, 2013

BOULDER, CO (BRAIN) — Wednesday’s nomination of REI chief executive Sally Jewell to head up the Interior Department was met with approval and encouragement by the industry’s biggest advocacy groups, who see her as an ally in Washington.

“As the CEO of REI, she’s done an excellent job of blending and balancing recreation and conservation interests,” said Tim Blumenthal, president of Bikes Belong and People for Bikes. “She understands mountain biking, the importance of easy bike routes for people of all ages, and the value of the recreation tourism economy. Her experience and outlook should help improve bicycling on public land and this will benefit bicycling and the bike industry.”

Interior manages one-fifth of the land in the United States, including millions of acres in national parks on other public lands, and oversees development on government-owned land. Bike advocates work closely with the department’s National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management on bike access.

“We hope to work with Sally and her team to improve bicycling on public land, particularly by making it easier and more appealing for families and children to bike in national parks, national recreation areas and on BLM land," Blumenthal said.

IMBA president Mike Van Abel said he worked alongside Jewell as part of America’s Great Outdoors, a conservation initiative launched by the White House in 2010. And IMBA as well as its local chapters have worked closely with REI.

“Given REI’s stellar support of outdoor recreation stewardship and conservation organizations, I think Sally’s appointment will be a great opportunity to continue to shape favorable policies for recreation on public lands,” Van Abel said. “Our work with the BLM and NPS is already excellent and getting better. Sally’s appointment has the potential to take us even deeper, as we won’t have to convince her of the conservation value of our work.”

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