Statement by Billy Frank Jr. on selection of Sally Jewell as Interior Secretary

“We are excited about President Obama’s selection of Sally Jewell for Secretary of the Interior,” says Chairman Billy Frank of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. “We think she’s a great choice.”

Jewell, the former chief executive officer for outdoor gear giant REI, grew up in Washington state and knows the issues important to Indian tribes, Frank said. “She’s one of us, and we couldn’t be more pleased that she will be leading the Department of Interior for the next four years,” he said.

Frank said that Jewell brings a strong blend of business sense and a natural resources conservation ethic to the agency. “A healthy environment and a healthy economy can go hand-in-hand,” Frank said. “We can have both, and I think Sally Jewell will help make that happen.”

Frank praised Jewell’s knowledge of tribes and tribal issues, and respect for tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. “We are facing big challenges such as achieving salmon recovery, protecting water quality and adapting to climate change,” Frank said. “Our cultures, economies and treaty rights depend on a healthy environment and healthy natural resources.”

Because the Department of Interior also includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Jewell’s understanding and respect for tribal governments are critical to a good working relationship between the tribes and the agency, he said.

“I believe Sally is the right person, in the right place, at the right time,” Frank said. “We look forward to working with her, and thank President Obama for his wise choice.”