Mike Noel, federal government hater and anti-environmentalist, uses his political position to bring federal water project money to moisten a dry subdivision above Zion National Park-

Utah state legislator, Mike Noel (R) is notable for his hatred of federal spending and environmental protection efforts, but he has used his clout to to bring  about $10 million of federal money to pay to get water to a remote site near a famous national park where there is what the Salt Lake Tribune calls a “hodgepodge of cabins, trailers and tent lots.”  The “Zion View community” is set in the often colorful cliffs just north of  Zion National Park.  Few of the lot owners are Noel’s constituents. Many are from Nevada.

Residents bought their lots as dry lots. Currently they have water hauled to the area. They are split whether they really want this federal project secured by the anti-federal politician. Ironically some Zion residents are even calling the project “government out of control.”

This is not a full time community, but a rustic summer refuge of sorts.  Many believe the real goal here is not water for these summer vacationers, but water for a big subdivision in the future with upscale homes. However, many residents say they want to keep the area as it is — not a little city.

When he isn’t working on Utah legislature matters or his real estate, Noel’s “day job” is a local government position as executive director of the Kane County Water Conservancy District where, according to the SLT he received about $100,000 in salary and benefits.

The Salt Lake Tribune has a long investigative story on what many call Noel’s hypocritical actions, Utah legislator rips D.C. while raking in federal cash . By Judy Fahys.

Noel’s actions are hardly unique in the history of the Western United States where the word to the federal government has long been “send us money, then leave us alone.”

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

3 Responses to Anti-fed Utah legislator federal project money to make subdivision near Zion National Park grow

  1. avatar ramses09 says:

    Another one of the “many asshole” politicians that get what they want, when they want it through MONEY! No surprize here. I just hope the citizens up wake up & start throwing some sliders to Mr State Legislature. Or our “their” beautiful Zion National Park is gonna slowly go bye-bye to the 1%.

  2. avatar Larry keeney says:

    He willl probably use it to enhance wildlife like guzzlers for chuckars Not!

  3. avatar WM says:

    This guy is a pip squeak compared to Colorado Representative Wayne Aspinall, who brought home the bacon not only to CO but to UT. The funny thing about water is most folks think it flows downhill. In the West, and for those in office from the West at the federal or state level, it flows toward power and money. Water conservancy districts, wherever they are in the Western states are extremely competitive and very powerful organizations, and their board members and staff know how to push buttons, inluding placement of their own in state legislatures and keeping them there.

    The author of this article is not clear on how much is federal (and I am curious about what program and how much is grant or low interest loan), state, and whether matching at some percentage is required by the conservancy district.

    The entire Front Range of CO north of Denver owes its prosperity of agriculture and high-tech (4 HP facilities, Kodak, Anheuser-Busch and two 4 year universities) to forward thinking folks who learned how to obtain and manage water (and even bring it from the west side of the Rocky Mountain Continental Divide to the east, for exclusive use within the boundaries of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District.

    Love him or hate him, Mike Noel apparently knows how to play the game, even if on a small scale (a couple million dollars is pocket change). Bad for Zion and maybe some who want to keep their little subdivision as it was, but good for the UT economy in the long run, if they could snag some money under the guise of solving a health problem, but funding future development in the water short area. And, that is likely how he was able to latch on to federal money allocated to UT (again how much?), then appropriated to priority projects within the state by its various boards.

    A good politician can still grumble about the source, while watching the cash from federal/state coffers being counted and directed to your constituents. Better, at least for getting votes, than letting the money go to somewhere else. Heck, maybe he even got a salary raise or a bonus from his day job as manager of the district.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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