REI

The Senate Energy Committee on Thursday endorsed President Barack Obama's nomination of Sally Jewell to be Interior secretary, moving her nomination to the Senate floor for an expected vote next month.

The committee's 19-3 vote in favor of Jewell came after current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar agreed to review a decision blocking construction of a gravel road through a wildlife refuge to provide access to an all-weather airport in rural Alaska.

Steve Cyr

REI may soon need a new leader if CEO Sally Jewell is confirmed as Interior Secretary. The next person to lead the outdoor gear retailer will confront a threat from another Northwest company – Amazon.com.

REI

President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of the Interior is an unusual choice. Sally Jewell is not a politician – she’s CEO of the outdoor gear company, REI. But those who know her say she has savvy, social conscience, and a deep respect for the open spaces she’ll be managing if the Senate confirms her.

Museum of History & Industry and Charla Bear

In the Pacific Northwest, we know that yoga pants, polar fleece and hiking shoes are great for grocery shopping. But when we head into the great outdoors, we love to pile on the high-tech gear.

Sure, the weather here demands a certain level of protection from the elements. But what is it that compels people in the Pacific Northwest to want every piece of equipment out there?

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?