Sally Jewell Confirmed As Interior Secretary By Senate

Sally Jewell, a businesswoman with a diverse background ranging from the energy and banking sectors to running Recreational Equipment, Inc., was confirmed Wednesday by the U.S. Senate as the 51st secretary of the Interior.

Ms. Jewell was confirmed with a vote of 87-11. She succeeds outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who early this year announced his intention to retire.

“The National Parks Conservation Association applauds the bipartisan support and confirmation of Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Department of the Interior," Tom Kiernan, NPCA's president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. "Her business expertise and passion for the outdoors, recreation and conservation foretells her success as Secretary of the Interior. As the National Park Service approaches its centennial in 2016, we look forward to working with Secretary Jewell to serve our country and help ensure our national parks and public lands are preserved, protected, and more accessible for future generations to enjoy.”

At the Natural Resources Defense Council, President Frances Beinecke said Ms. Jewell won't have the luxury of time to grow into the job.

"Now her work begins. At the top of the list are critical issues such as safeguarding the Arctic Ocean from the dangers of offshore drilling; protecting America’s public lands from destructive fossil fuel extraction practices; continuing to smartly develop renewable energy on public lands and protecting endangered species such as the gray wolf," said Ms. Beinecke.

“Ultimately, her primary mission is clear: to conserve and safeguard America’s incomparable natural heritage for future generations. We look forward to working with her to do just that.”

Comments

Ms. Jewell,

Congratulations on your confirmation. I am asking that you look into the scandal at Great Smoky Mountains National Park concerning Supt Ditmanson's deceitful and wildly unpopular backcountry fee. His dishonesty and misrepresentation of scientific data, including his evolving justifications for this tax on backpackers and backpackers only was rejected by the public to the tune of 95% of public commenters opposed to the fee. In addition, county commissions in the largest landholding properties of the park, Blount County in Tn and Swain Co in N.C, in addition to Knox County (home to the birthplace of the GRSM ) all have passed resolutions condemning and calling for a repeal of this egregious fee. All details may be found here, www.southernforestwatch.org We look forward to an antidote to Jarvis "good ole boy" network of which Ditmanson is chair. The NPS acts as if they are above reproach or public input. Your input in revoking his authorization for this fee would make your tenure begin heroically in the most visited National Park within the system.

Like the other commenter I congratulate Secretary Jewell. Also as a citizen of TN I also would ask that you please review the newly imposed backcountry fee in the GSMNP. We as citizens felt very much disenfranchised in the public comments process for various reasons. We had thousands who spoke up against the backcountry fee not only for financial reasons but many whose families gave land and donated to create the park spoke up. Many counties have passed resolutions against the new fee. The government is supposed to work for us but we the people do not seem to have any voice within the park service. Good luck Secretary Jewell and we hope you make some big changes in the culture of the park service if nothing else.

Let's hope Secretary Jewel does not listen to President Beinecke.

Congratulations on your confirmation, Secretary Jewell!

Here's a little tongue-in-cheek parable to show what's wrong with today's top-heavy National Park Service and it's largely unaccountable management:

The Old National Park Service and the Modern National Park Service decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race. On the big day, the Old National Park Service won by a mile. The Modern National Park Service, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Old National Park Service had 8 people paddling and one person steering, while the Modern National Park Service team had 8 people steering and 1 person paddling. Feeling a deeper study was in order, Modern National Park Service management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, in the National Paddling Plan, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were paddling.

Not sure how to utilize this information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Old National Park Service, the team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager, with none of them having any paddling experience.

They also implemented a new performance system that would make the 1 person paddling the boat more professional and accountable, with meetings, classes, deadlines, and a requirement to take 15 more courses of on-line training. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses, but it never occured to anyone to add additional paddlers.

The next year the Old National Park Service won by two miles. Humiliated, the Modern National Park Service management abandoned the National Paddling Plan, laid off the paddler for not meeting the deadline, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Denver Service Center as bonuses and the next year's racing team was outsourced to private contractors.

Everybody seems to be happy with her nomination, which leads me to believe that a lot of people are going to be disappointed in some way. Congrats none the less.

Tahoma - That is a great parable. Unfortunately it could be used to describe a lot more than just the modern Park Service.