Alexandria, VA – February 6, 2013 - The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the trade association that represents the recreational fishing industry, applauds the nomination of Sally Jewell for Department of the Interior Secretary.
Jewell is the President and CEO of REI, a national retailer of outdoor gear and clothing. Prior to joining REI, Jewell already had two decades of experience in commercial banking, and began her professional career as an engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation.
“From an industry perspective, Sally Jewell understands the important role that our public waters and lands have in supporting the nation’s $646 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “Given its responsibility for managing approximately one-fifth of the nation’s lands and waters, the Department of the Interior has a significant role in providing recreational fishing opportunities and conserving the nation’s fisheries resources.”
Nussman further said, “Public lands and the outdoor recreation economy are closely tied, and Ms. Jewell’s private sector experience in leading a national outdoor equipment retail chain provides her with a valuable perspective that would well-serve the fishing industry and all sportsmen and women.”
According to ASA's new recreational fishing study, Sportfishing in America: An Economic Force for Conservation, America's nearly 60 million anglers are estimated to spend $48 billion per year on fishing equipment, transportation, lodging and other expenses associated with their sport. With a total annual economic impact of $115 billion, fishing supports more than 828,000 jobs and generates $35 billion in wages and $15 billion in federal and state taxes. Despite the economic difficulties facing the U.S. economy over the past five years; the total amount spent on sportfishing, which encompasses tackle, travel and other equipment, grew five percent.
Jewell has been a spokesperson for President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, which promotes reconnecting Americans to the outdoors and supports community-level conservation of fish and wildlife habitat. She also served on the "National Parks Second Century Commission," whose goal was to help shape the future of the National Parks System which is under Interior’s jurisdiction.