Rep. Mike Noel retires after 16 years in the Utah Legislature

    Rep. Mike Noel, left, a Kanab Republican speaks during the the State Water Development Commission meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Salt Lake City. Noel, who represents Utah counties heavily affected by the massive spill of mine waste, said the Environmental Protection Agency initially downplayed the magnitude of the disaster and a private company would likely face hefty fines for such an accident. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

    (KUTV)- One of Utah's best-known legislatures, Representative Mike Noel announced his retirement after serving 16 years in the Utah Legislature Friday morning.

    In an interview with, Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, says “It’s been a great ride, but 16 years is enough.”

    Many may argue one of Noel's greatest achievements came this year when GOP President Donald Trump downsized the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monuments.

    The idea had been around for 20 years, and it took Noel and his advocating to make it happen, said

    Noel made national news – again – in the 2018 Legislature when he introduced a bill that would have designated several scenic roads in southern Utah as a Donald J. Trump Highway.

    Hate emails and texts streamed in and national media stories criticized him.

    He pulled the bill after saying he and his family were getting death threats from Trump haters.

    During his interview with, Noel shared his personal reasons for retiring. “I have a new wife, a new life. I have 48 grandchildren, and I’m missing their lives” every day Noel is up in Salt Lake City doing his legislative work.

    From a political aspect, Noel was a strong supporter of retiring House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper. Both politicians came into the house in 2002.

    Hughes, likewise, has supported Noel, making him the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee the last several years.

    But Noel says it is personal, not political, reasons he’s leaving at the end of this year.

    “I’ve been planning” this retirement “for a while.”

    “It’s been a great ride.”

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