- Ryan ZinkeRepresentative
Join Utah Leaders in Opposing Rep. Noel's Quest to Become BLM Director
Utah State Representative Mike Noel is lobbying to become the next Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). He and a group of like-minded politicians are campaigning to position Noel as a legitimate candidate for this post.
The Salt Lake Tribune and this OpEd by Better Utah’s Madison Hayes outline how Mike Noel’s confirmation as BLM Director would spell disaster for our public lands. Among the many reasons Mike Noel would be bad for the BLM and our public lands are these:
- Mike Noel is a staunch opponent of the Federal Government;
- Mike Noel believes that law enforcement on Federal public lands should be taken away from Federal officials and turned over to local sheriffs;
- Mike Noel ardently supported Phil Lyman, the former county commissioner who led an illegal and damaging protest ride through Recapture Canyon;
- Mike Noel is a proponent of Utah’s $14 million wasteful lawsuit to “take back” Federal lands;
- Mike Noel continually demeans and vilifies opponents of his positions;
- Mike Noel’s leadership would have a catastrophic impact on the outdoor recreation industry, an important part of Utah’s economy;
- Mike Noel fails to compromise and allows his personal opinions on matters to override all others;
- Mike Noel’s history of manipulation and conflicts of interest would likely follow him in a higher position of power.
Based on Noel’s beliefs, history, and temperament, we urge the Trump Administration to reject Rep. Mike Noel’s quest to become the next Director of the BLM.
Join the Alliance for a Better Utah, our fellow citizens, business, advocacy and community leaders from around Utah in telling the Trump Administration to oppose Mike Noel’s pursuit to become the next Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
See our letter to the Trump Administration here. The letter is signed and endorsed by, among others, Jan & Bryson Garbett (Garbett Homes), Peter Metcalf (CEO Emeritus, Black Diamond), Nazz Kurth (President, Petzl America), John Sears (President, Gregory Mountain Products), Kevin Boyl (President, KUHL), Pat Shea (Former Director, BLM), Sierra Club, Utah Chapter, Southern Utah Wilderness Association, the Alliance for a Better Utah, Save Our Canyons, Wild Utah Project, Wild Earth Guardians, and Western Values Project.
January 25, 2017
Dear Mr. Vice President and Mr. Zinke,
The undersigned are writing to you as the Chairman of the Presidential Transition Team and nominee for the position of the Secretary of the Interior. As you and your colleagues in the Administration and Congress continue the important work of choosing those who will lead the various departments and agencies of our federal government, we write to voice our concerns over the reports that Representative Mike Noel, a member of the Utah House of Representatives, is actively pursuing his consideration as the next director of the Bureau of Land Management.
As you are well aware, the Bureau of Land Management is responsible for administering nearly 250 million acres of public lands across the country. Its core mission is to “sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.” We believe it would be irresponsible to entrust Rep. Noel with this mission and the responsibility to manage and administer our nation’s public lands.
Over the years, Rep. Noel has espoused positions antithetical to leading the BLM. He has been a staunch opponent of the federal government. He believes law enforcement on federal public lands should rest with local sheriffs, and he has been an ardent advocate for Utah’s multi-million dollar lawsuits seeking to have ill-prepared state governments, like Utah’s, take title to federal public lands that belong to all Americans. Rep. Noel has also demonstrated his disregard for the thoughtfully and collaboratively crafted management plans of the Bureau he hopes to direct, instead throwing his support behind illegal protests on BLM land and the extraction companies that hope to expand their activities on public lands to the detriment of the protection and other uses of those lands. Rep. Noel’s history strongly suggests that he will not be a good steward over these public lands that all Americans use and enjoy, and we believe his leadership would have a catastrophic impact on the outdoor recreation industry, an important part of Utah’s economy, in addition to placing our treasured public lands in danger.
We are also alarmed by Rep. Noel’s temperament and management style, something we believe should be considered when deciding who should hold this important position. During his time as a legislator, Rep. Noel has come to be known as a bully. When faced with opposition or disagreement, he interrupts, vilifies, and personally attacks his opponents. Rep. Noel has also shown he is unwilling to compromise and that his personal opinions on matters override all others - including those reached through collaborative compromise. This intransigent nature would hamper Rep. Noel in performing the duties that come with being BLM director, which include balancing all of the competing needs and uses that arise in managing our vast public lands. Finally, accusations of manipulation and conflicts of interest have dogged Rep. Noel during his time as a public servant and would no doubt continue to follow him as he moved into a higher position of power.
We urge you to consider the irreparable damage a man with Rep. Noel’s beliefs, history, and temperament would do to this vital agency and the public trust that it holds on behalf of all Americans. We ask that you please reject his consideration as a candidate for director of the Bureau of Land Management.
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