Washington SAWS Rep
Jewell, current CEO of Seattle-based REI, was recently nominated by President
Obama for the Secretary of the Department of Interior. If confirmed, she will
become one of the most radical environmentalists and anti-motorized recreation
DOI secretaries in history.
of you are probably aware, REI is a very anti-motorized company. As the article
titled, “A Jewell Who's Rough on Jobs” states,
bigger influence, however, has come from funneling money to radical groups via
Alliance, a foundation it created with Patagonia, The North Face and
Kelty in 1989. Ms. Jewell was lauded by the group in 2010 for committing REI to
giving more than $100,000 a year to this outfit."
is a group of outdoor industry companies that disburses its collective annual
membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations. We direct our
funding to community-based campaigns to protect threatened wild habitat,
preferably where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. The Alliance
was founded in 1989 by industry leaders REI, Patagonia,
The North Face, and Kelty, who shared the goal of increasing outdoor industry
support for conservation efforts. We now have more than 185 member companies,
and disbursed $1.3 million in 2012.
its inception in 1989, the Alliance has
contributed more than $11.2 million to grassroots conservation groups
throughout North America. The results of our
funding have been remarkable. Alliance
funding has helped save more than 42 million acres of wildlands; protect 2,748
miles of rivers; stop or remove 25 dams; designate five marine reserves; and purchase
nine climbing areas. We follow a rigorous grant proposal review process that
ensures our grants go to organizations that can succeed given the necessary
financial resources. Click here for a list of our grantees.”
Ms. Jewell is also the vice-chairman of the board for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). NPCA was one of the first
groups to attempt to ban snowmobiles from Yellowstone National Park in 2003 by filing a lawsuit against
the National Park Service.
A coalition of conservation groups today filed suit to
challenge the National Park Service's proposal to allow continued snowmobiling
in Yellowstone and Grand Teton
National Parks. The
administration's plan would allow even more snowmobiles in Yellowstone where
the noisy machines already disturb wildlife, pollute the air, and spread clouds
of exhaust over such famous landmarks as Old Faithful.
"Families visiting Yellowstone in winter shouldn't
have to worry about their health, they shouldn't have to wear ear plugs, and
park rangers shouldn't have to wear respirators," said Abigail Dillen, an
attorney with Earthjustice, who is representing Greater Yellowstone Coalition,
National Parks Conservation Association, The Wilderness Society, Natural
Resources Defense Council, Winter Wildlands Alliance, and Sierra Club.
provides funding for many NPCA programs including …”
"NPCA's intervention is an endorsement for the
process of working toward a final winter use plan for Yellowstone, however it
is not an endorsement of the rule itself," said Dowd. "We will
continue to work toward a long-term plan that phases out snowmobiles and
provides access to Yellowstone by
out snowmobiles completely by the 2014–2015 winter season and transition fully
to a snowcoach transportation system using the best available technologies…
Prohibit non-commercially guided and unguided snowmobile access during the
three-year phase-out period.”
seems Sally Jewell is not a jewel at all, but a lump of coal might be a better
A Jewell Who's Rough on Jobs
As CEO of retailer REI, the incoming secretary of the
interior was on the radical extreme, using investor dollars to wage open green
In naming Sally Jewell as Interior secretary, President
Obama lauded the REI boss as a woman who "knows the link between
conservation and good jobs." Tell that to Kevin Lunny.
Mr. Lunny runs an 80-year-old California oyster business that had the bad
luck decades ago of being enclosed in a federal park. On Monday, as Ms. Jewell
polished her acceptance speech, a federal judge ordered the business evicted.
Among the organizations working hardest to destroy the livelihood of Mr. Lunny
and his 30 workers was the National Parks Conservation Association. Ms. Jewell
is vice-chairman of its board.
The press is just wild about Sally, feting the
president's nominee as everything to everybody. She's never held office. She's
the CEO of a successful outdoor retailer. She's a woman. She started as an oil
company engineer. She is a "committed conservationist." What's not to
Far from a creative choice, Ms. Jewell is just the newest
addition to Mr. Obama's second-term team of loyal ideologues. It is in fact Ms.
Jewell's (relatively unknown) history on the environmental fringe, and her
liberal policy prescriptions, that surely made this an easy Obama call. The
president knows he can rely on Ms. Jewell to do for the federal government
exactly what she's done at an activist level: Lock up land, target industries,
kill traditional jobs.
There are companies that strive to be environmentally
responsible. And then there is a different category of firms altogether—those
on the radical extreme, which use investor dollars to wage open green activism.
REI is among these. Ms. Jewell, who joined the REI board in 1996 and rose to
CEO in 2005, has been central to campaigns that have squelched thousands of
jobs in the name of environmental purity.
REI, for instance, actively supported the Clinton-era
Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which in 2001 locked up a third of all
national forests, dealing another blow to logging and mining. When former
Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire in 2006 announced she'd fight the Bush
administration's effort to inject some flexibility into the rule, she held her
press conference at REI's headquarters, flanked by Ms. Jewell. "We develop
them, we log them, we mine them—we lose those assets forever," complained
Ms. Jewell at the event. REI's well-heeled clientele ultimately got 58 million
acres of "pristine" walking trails; Western loggers got to tell their
kids they no longer had a job.
REI's bigger influence, however, has come from funneling
money to radical groups via the Conservation Alliance, a foundation it created
with Patagonia, The North Face and Kelty in
1989. Ms. Jewell was lauded by the group in 2010 for committing REI to giving
more than $100,000 a year to this outfit.
The Conservation Alliance maintains a list of the
"successes" it has notched via the dollars it sends to militant
environmental groups like Earthjustice. In the past few years alone that list
has included "77 oil and gas leases halted" in Utah, 55,000 acres put
off limits to oil and gas jobs in Colorado, the destructions of functioning
dams, and the removal of millions of new acres from any business pursuit.
The Alliance is particularly proud of its role in getting
the Obama team in 2012 to lock up half of Alaska's National Petroleum
Reserve—set aside 90 years ago specifically for oil and gas. Rex Rock, the
president of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, which represents the
economic interests of the Inupiat Eskimos, wrote that the decision will
"cripple the lone economic driver for our communities," and make the
Inupiat "exhibits in an outdoor museum."
The NPCA, when it isn't destroying oyster farmers, has
filed lawsuits attacking power plants and waged campaigns to ban off-road
vehicles and snowmobiles in park lands. Ms. Jewell, on the board since 2004,
was there for many of these efforts to kill jobs and restrict park use to those
whom the NPCA approves. These are the very parks Ms. Jewell will oversee as
As for Ms. Jewell's own views, here's what she took away
from her time at an oil company, as described in a 2007 Forbes interview:
"I would say I just really have a good fundamental knowledge of what
happens when you drill for oil. What happens when oil gets in a creek? How do
you deal with that? What are the environmental challenges? What's the water
quality in the community? These are all things that, when you see them on the
ground, you recognize that there is a cost to consumption."
What might also have qualified Ms. Jewell for the
nomination is her open support for an idea of great interest to this
administration. "I know tax is a dirty word, but if we were paying a
carbon tax that accounted for our impact on greenhouse gases, that would in
fact change our consumption," explained Mrs. Jewell in 2009. She's
certainly an Obama fan, donating $10,000 to his re-election. No word if she's
sent an equivalent check to Mr. Lunny, or the Inupiat.
"She knows that there's no contradiction between
being good stewards of the land and our economic progress," raved Mr.
Obama in announcing her. Ms. Jewell's history is instead proof that she
believes no such thing.