ATV protest ride leader Phil Lyman running for Noel’s seat in Utah Legislature

In this file photo, San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman speaks at a news conference at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Dec. 19, 2016. Lyman, who became a cause celebre in the movement challenging federal management of Western public lands when he led an ATV protest ride in 2014, said Tuesday he is running for the Utah House of Representatives seat that opened up with the recent retirement of Mike Noel. | Associated Press photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Despite being on probation for leading an ATV protest ride in 2014, San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman announced Tuesday he is running for the state Legislature.

In this file photo, San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman addresses a protest rally against the Bureau of Land Management at Centennial Park, Blanding, Utah, May 10, 2014 | Photo by Greta Hyland, St. George News

Lyman, who said his priorities include championing states’ rights and fighting against environmental groups, is running for the seat of Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, who announced his retirement after 16 years in the Legislature. Environmental groups and outdoor companies like Patagonia are pushing their agendas on rural Utah, Lyman said. 

Read more: Southern Utah Rep. Mike Noel retiring, hopes to continue public lands fight

“I hope to follow in Mike’s footsteps and continue his efforts and have his advice or counsel,” Lyman told St. George News, before adding he considers Noel a “great friend.”

Lyman spent 10 days in jail and is currently on probation for illegal use of ATVs and conspiracy after leading a 2014 ATV protest through Recapture Canyon in San Juan County. Federal officials had closed the canyon to motorized vehicles due to Native American cliff dwellings in the area.

Being on probation will not be a hurdle for running for the Legislature, Lyman said.

“The law right now is used to go after people who are against the environmental agenda,” Lyman said. “(As a legislator), I want to make sure there is less regulation and equal treatment for all under the law.”

Read more: Lyman, Wells reflect on Recapture Canyon protest, sentencing

Noel is asking President Donald Trump to pardon Lyman — an idea Lyman said he supports.

In this file photo, protesters ride through Recapture Canyon near Blanding, Utah, May 10, 2014 | Photo by Dallas Hyland, St. George News

“Part of me thinks I don’t need a pardon because I didn’t do anything wrong, but it would be a nice statement,” Lyman said. “Giving me a pardon would be the right thing for Trump to do.”

Though he said it would be a challenge to get the federal government to reopen protected areas like Recapture Canyon, Lyman said he would seek to prevent the federal government from intruding on the “rugged landscape and quiet enjoyment” of public lands in San Juan County and across Utah if he’s elected. Ranching, mining, recreating and logging should be allowed in public lands in Utah, Lyman said. 

So far, Lyman is the only person to announce he’s running for state House District 73, which covers several rural counties across Southern Utah.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Email: sricks@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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12 Comments

  • Real Life March 13, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Just goofy. Is Cliven Bundy going to run now too?

    • Lastdays March 13, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      Cliven is not running for anything but his son Ryan plans to file in Nevada as an Independent for Governor.
      Nothing goofy running for office especially if someone knows and understands the Constitution and the rights and freedoms listed in that document. I believe it’s still the current standard and Law. Right ?
      Many elected offices require holding up right hand and swearing to uphold the US Constitution and the State Constitution.
      So it really helps when a candidate for office has a respect for what they just agreed to do.

    • mesaman March 13, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      Another entry from the liberal leeches.

      • Real Life March 13, 2018 at 11:28 pm

        Not a liberal Mesaman. Just don’t trust criminals who hate every facet of the government, to try and run the government.

      • Striker4 March 14, 2018 at 6:00 am

        them liberals go to work every day so the government can take their money from them to support you and your retirement

  • jaybird March 13, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    A other right wing nut bag… here to reconstruct the administrative state and put him and his cronies in positions of power. Down with this dingleberry.

  • PlanetU March 13, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Oh sure you don’t have to obey the rules, they don’t apply to YOU! If we didn’t have environmentalists there would be an oil rig, a tract of homes, maybe a temple built on land you have no business on. Do you know what a Native American cliff dwelling is??? You don’t care!

    • Real Life March 13, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      They simply don’t care what you think. They are a very greedy bunch.

  • jaltair March 13, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    PlanetU – I couldn’t agree more. I’m conservative, and I believe in sensible regulation. I would totally disagree with opening any federal land to the public if it desecrates areas with historic value or pristine land for use by companies or persons who would destroy the beauty of the area. I believe areas in Utah in St George that are home to the Mojave desert tortoise need protection. It just seems growing UT to get profit and more taxes for state to spend is just thoughtless. I would oppose any Republican or Democrat with such thoughts, especially Phil Lyman.

    • Lee Sanders March 14, 2018 at 4:48 pm

      Wow, you sure you’re a conservative?

  • Waid March 14, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Now I see what will be as bad or worse than Noel — a lawbreaker who uses tax dollars to defend his criminal activities. Disgusting — no doubt an ideal replacement for Noel!

  • John March 14, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    When liberals think they are right, we call that “Imagination” !

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