Friday, December 02, 2016

Rep. Mike Noel to go for BLM director job in Trump administration

Rep. Mike Noel is submitting paperwork to be considered as director of the Bureau of Land Management under President Donald Trump’s administration. Rep. Noel, R-Kanab, is submitting his resume and information to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, a spokeswoman for the Utah House of Representatives Majority Caucus confirmed to FOX 13 on Tuesday, adding that he has support from the governor’s office, Sen. Orrin Hatch and other state leaders. Rep. Noel, who previously worked for the BLM, has long been a champion of rural Utah issues in the legislature. He has also often found himself clashing with the federal government and environmental groups on land policy and access issues. Most recently, he attended arguments at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman and Monte Wells, who are seeking to have their convictions overturned for the 2014 Recapture Canyon protest ride. In an interview with FOX 13 at the time, Rep. Noel suggested federal lands issues might be changing quickly under Trump’s administration...more

I'm going out on a limb and predicting the Center for Biological Diversity would oppose his nomination: 

...Noel is an outspoken critic of federal land management and has joined an effort to seize, and ultimately privatize, 31 million acres of federal public land in Utah. “It’s a bitter irony that Mike Noel wants to run the BLM. He and the Bundy clan share the same desire to snatch public lands out of the hands of all Americans in order to benefit a few,” said Randi Spivak with the Center for Biological Diversity. “These lands are owned by all of us, and any attempt to take them away and give them to states or companies who see them only as profit sources will be met with fierce resistance from everyday Americans.” Noel sits on the Utah Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands, which was created following the passage of the Utah Transfer of Public Lands Act that demands the federal government turn over 31 million acres of federal lands to the state of Utah.  A new legal analysis by the Conference of Western Attorneys General found that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the “property clause” of the Constitution gives the U.S. government the right to own public lands and keep them public and the exclusive power to decide whether to dispose of them or sell them off. Noel was a supporter of an 2014 illegal off-road vehicle ride in Utah’s Recapture Canyon that roared through an area the BLM had closed to protect American Indian archeological sites following looting incidents. He famously blamed badgers for being responsible for vandalizing tribal burial grounds and archeological sites in Utah despite evidence of damage caused by bullet holes and chains saws. Noel’s political contributors include real-estate developers, Chevron, Arch Coal, Exxon and Rio Tinto...

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