Sally Jewell

A U.S. Bureau of Land Management engineer and volunteers who staff an interpretive exhibit at remote Turn Point, furthest west spot in the San Juan Islands, received a surprise visit last week from their vacationing boss.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell walked out to the the vastly scenic spot on Stuart Island, introduced herself and received an impromptu briefing on asbestos removal at the lighthouse, part of the new San Juan Islands National Monument, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Sally Jewell, ex-CEO at Recreational Equipment, Inc., a lover of cold high places now on the hot seat as President Obama’s Interior secretary.

The former CEO at Recreational Equipment Inc. is now chief overseer of a domain that includes America’s national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, historic battlefields and vast tracts of land (and islands) of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

“No, there’s no easy decisions in this job, outside of speaking at a naturalization ceremony for new citizens,” said Jewell, who spoke at a naturalization ceremony for 21 new citizens at the Refugee Women’s Alliance in Seattle. Jewell emigrated to the U.S. from England with her parents as a young girl.

In a sit-down afterwards with seattlepi.com, the former Seattle executive and outdoors activist spoke of a job she described as “not thankless, but controversial.”

Map showing Stuart Island’s location at the junction of Haro Strait and Boundary Pass. The U.S. border with Canada runs near the islands. Map courtesy of Wikipedia

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