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Governor's Cabinet

Michael R. Styler, Executive Director, Department of Natural Resources

Michael Styler

Michael (Mike) Styler has served as executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR) since January 2005. Styler leads an agency of 1,300 employees who are divided among seven divisions: Forestry, Fire and State Lands; Oil, Gas and Mining; State Parks and Recreation; Utah Geological Survey; Water Resources; Water Rights; and Wildlife Resources. In addition to these seven divisions, the Department of Natural Resource administration oversees the Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative (WRI) and the Sensitive Species Mitigation program. During his tenure at DNR, Styler has chaired the Executive Water Task Force and has worked to restore healthy landscapes through the Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative. He has also increased department efficiency and encouraged inter-divisional partnerships.

Prior to his appointment, Styler served in the Utah House of Representatives where he was elected Assistant Majority Whip. He has also served on the Executive Appropriations Committee, Legislative Management Committee, Legislative Water Task Force (chair), and Natural Resources Appropriations Committee (chair).

Prior to his legislative service, he served for eight years as a Millard County Commissioner and president of the Utah Association of County Commissioners. He also served his farming community as president of the Deseret Irrigation Company.

Styler graduated from Brigham Young University in 1976 with a double major in Agricultural Economics and Business Education. He started purchasing his family farm while teaching U.S. History to eighth grade students at Delta Middle School. The Styler family helped settle Millard County in the 1880s, founding the farming community of Oasis. He still farms, with the help of his son, Stephen, 400 acres of irrigated land near Delta, Utah. Styler commutes to Oasis most summer weekends to tend to his farm, family and church responsibilities.

Among his many interests, Styler loves ice fishing and hunting. His adventures have included hunting bear and moose in Alaska and whitetails in Wyoming. He and his wife have three children and are the proud grandparents of 11 grandchildren.