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Outdoor industry's political stock rises with one of its own at department's helm

Sally Jewell used her perch as CEO of outdoor retailing giant REI to promote government protection of places where her customers hiked, camped, paddled and biked. There she was at the Seattle store seven years ago standing with then-Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) to support the Evergreen State's lawsuit challenging the George W. Bush administration's rollback of roadless protections on national forests. And it was REI's Denver store that hosted then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in 2010 as he announced a new "wild lands" push to protect backcountry. Now Interior Secretary Jewell is overseeing the department that manages a fifth of the nation's land. Conservationists, of course, hope Jewell will continue to promote public lands for recreation, even as she balances access for oil and gas development, mining, and off-highway vehicles.

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