Salt Lake City, UT – Good government group, Alliance for a Better Utah, announced today that prominent business, community and advocacy leaders from around Utah joined together to send a letter to the Trump Administration’s transition team opposing the potential appointment of Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, as director of the Bureau of Land Management.
Rep. Noel has recently been lobbying to be nominated as the next director of the BLM. The letter, sent to the Vice President Pence and Interior Department Secretary nominee, Mr. Zinke, highlights Rep. Noel’s controversial history showing that neither his policies nor his temperament are congruous with the position of BLM director. The letter warns that his appointment would be catastrophic to the outdoor recreation industry’s impact on the Utah economy, would place our public lands in danger, and would disrupt the delicate balance of uses that compete for access to our public lands.
A copy of the letter can be found here. In addition, the Alliance for a Better Utah has launched a petition on Change.org to allow any Utahn or others to show their solidarity with this group of leaders in opposing Rep. Noel’s quest to become the next BLM Director. The petition can be found here.
Josh Kanter, Alliance for a Better Utah’s founder and Board Chair, issued the following statement:
“Our public lands are one of our greatest national treasures and a public legacy for all Americans. The BLM is responsible for the protection and comprehensive management of over 245 million acres of land. Mike Noel does not believe in a balanced approach to management of these lands. In fact, Noel appears to oppose the very purpose of the agency he hopes to lead. The BLM deserves a director who believes in the purpose and potential of our public lands so they may be used and enjoyed for multiple purposes for generations to come.”
Peter Metcalf, founder and CEO Emeritus of Black Diamond, issued the following statement:
“The BLM manages some of the America’s most spectacular and iconic landscapes, landscapes that are integral to outdoor recreation, sportsmen, biodiversity, and native Americans and America’s high quality of life. We need a BLM leader aligned with this mission, one who recognizes the role these well-stewarded, landscapes play in the vibrancy of one of America’s most important and sustainable economic sector.
“Mike Noel is the opposite. He has led the charge for transferring America’s public lands to states for them to do with them what they want, he has fought to use taxpayer dollars to defend a county commissioner convicted of organizing an armed, illegal ATV ride through BLM protected, sacred Native American sites while publicly blaming badgers in the face of rampant looting and vandalism of Native American artifacts on public lands. He believes that climate change is a conspiracy to limit population and he is out of sync with the great value and respect that the majority of Americans hold for our public lands and the role they play in our uniquely American quality of life. Last and not least he is a confrontational, disrespectful bully to those who do not agree with his parochial, extractive-centric, and extreme views. This is not the sort of person that Utah and the country needs nor desires to have heading the agency that manages our country’s best idea assets – Our Public Lands.”
The Alliance for a Better Utah 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.