Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, December 1, 2016

Contact:         Randi Spivak, (310) 779-4894,

Trumplandia: Utah Politician Who Opposes Public Lands Angles for
Job Overseeing 247 Million Acres

Trump Administration Attracts Land-seizure Proponent, Bundy Sympathizer

WASHINGTON— Utah state legislator Mike Noel, part of a movement to seize America’s federal lands to benefit private corporations, is angling for a job in the Trump administration to manage the Bureau of Land Management, the nation’s largest land-management agency, which oversees 247 million acres of federal public land.

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.

“Noel’s disdain for America’s public lands and for the federal agencies that manage them is palpable. A quick look at the list of political contributors says all you need to know about him,” said Spivak.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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