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February 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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Sally Jewell is nominated for Interior secretary

Jewell is a good choice; Salazar deserves praise

As a sportsman, I was thrilled to see the recent editorial supporting Sally Jewell’s nomination as secretary of the Interior Department [“A Jewell of a pick,” Opinion, Feb. 7].

President Obama made a great choice when selecting her to lead an agency that oversees a diverse array of our public lands and parks, from the Grand Canyon to the arctic tundra of Alaska’s North Slope. As Washingtonians, we should be proud to see one of our own in such a high position.

As the editorial mentioned, recently the Obama administration opened up roughly 11.8 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska to oil and gas drilling. What the piece failed to mention was that the decision included the protection of roughly half the reserve as five special areas, critical to wildlife and native subsistence. Numerous Pacific Flyway waterfowl that make their way through Washington state breed, molt and get ready for their migration in the reserve. These species include white-fronted geese, snow geese and Pacific brant, among others.

The final plan for the reserve is a great example of how the Obama administration can put conservation on equal ground to oil and gas drilling. an Interior Secretary Ken Salazar departs and makes way for new leadership, he deserves praise for putting forward a balanced plan for the reserve’s globally significant landscape.

--Patrick Schmitt, Seattle

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Sally, many pray that you will end the wolf slaughter that politicians are inflicting... MORE
The last thing we need is more of our public lands disappearing into the 'reserve' lock... MORE

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