A new bipartisan study, the Conservation in the West Poll, was released January 25, 2018 by the State of the Rockies Project, in conjunction with Lori Weigel, Public Opinion Strategies and Dave Metz, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, and Metz & Associates. The survey, conducted in eight western states, explores bi-partisan opinions in each state and for the Rocky Mountain West region concerning conservation, environment, energy, the role of government, trade-offs with economies, and citizen priorities. The survey now includes polling in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Colorado College in Colorado Springs has released all of the polls publications broken up by state, topic, and additional reports about Sportsmen and Agriculture. You can go through them all here, but we are going to take you through some of the most interesting results.
One demographic that we are very familiar with is those who identify as a sportsman or woman. The poll found that 79% are the most likely vote sub-group to identify as a conservationist which is a 4% increase from last year. Among that voter group, 58% preferred that the Trump Administration would focus on protecting clean water, air quality, and wildlife habitats on public lands.
In relation to the recent national monuments and public lands reductions happening to Utah's Grand Staircase and Bear's Ears, a majority of those who identify as a hunter or angler found this to be a largely bad idea and that any future reductions or stripping of other Monuments was also a bad idea.
Currently, there is legislation around our national monuments and you can speak up against it with our current action alert.
Another demographic that is extremely involved in the water issues of Colorado are voters who identify as being part of a rural or small town. Now some might think they don't share the same values as those in the growing cities of the Front Range, but that notion couldn't be farther from the truth. Rural communities overwhelmingly share similar values in regards to conservation, development, and public lands.
And to sum up the state's opinions as a whole, below is an infographic showing the support for different initiatives regarding water conservation, national monuments, and outdoor recreation. If you would like a closer look at the reports shown here or any of the images in this post, see the links at the bottom of the page.
Takeaway from the Data
The results of this poll are encouraging and also not unexpected. As part of Trout Unlimited, we know that our members who identify as sportsmen/women, farmers, activists, and outdoor recreationists are and have always been conservationists. This poll just further proves that we are a strong majority of people who believe in the future of clean water, access to public lands, and healthy fisheries. We stand together as a collaborative and influential community that puts conservation first.
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