Sally Jewell gets a grip on the Grand Teton as she makes an ascent of the 13,775-foot peak earlier this month. Jewell was in Jackson to make an address and receive an award and also was able to fit in a backpack trip on the Teton Crest Trail. (Karen Daubert)

Former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell had three engagements in Jackson Hole recently, and one of them was with the 13,775-foot-high Grand Teton.

Jewell addressed an audience celebrating the Teton Science Schools’ 50th anniversary, talking about how her time in the outdoors as a child shaped who she grew up to be. She talked about an early experience in collaboration and conservation when she worked at the outdoor retailer REI, and how that shaped her ability to work with others.

Jewell also received the Murie Spirit of Conservation Award at the Murie Center in Grand Teton National Park. There, she outlined the $885 billion economic footprint of the recreation industry and its dearth of Washington D.C. lobbyists when compared to other interests.

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Before climbing the Grand Teton, Jewell had an opportunity to backpack along the Teton Crest Trail, also in Grand Teton National Park. “I would argue the future of public lands is in peril if people don’t understand their value,” she said.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at or (307)...

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