‘Western voters want to stay the course’ on public lands | PostIndependent.com

‘Western voters want to stay the course’ on public lands

Bruce Finley
Denver Post
In this August 2016 file photo a herd of bison appears in Yellowstone National Park's Lamar Valley in Montana.
Associated Press

Western voters prioritize protecting water, air and wildlife habitat and opportunities for recreation over increased drilling and mining on public lands, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The voters surveyed over the past two months in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming also favored improving facilities in national parks and other outdoor destinations, the annual “State of the Rockies — Conservation in the West” poll found.

Commissioned by Colorado College, the survey was done by Republican pollster Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies and Democratic pollster Dave Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

Pollsters surveyed 400 registered voters in each of the seven states during December and January.
Among the findings:

• 58 percent opposed transferring control of federal public lands to states.
• 68 percent said they prioritized protecting water, air and wildlife with opportunities for recreation on public land, compared with 22 percent who prioritized increased production of fossil fuels.
• 33 percent supported increased coal mining on public lands; 63 percent opposed more coal mining.
• 50 percent said oil and gas drilling should continue in some areas while permanently protecting environmentally sensitive places, while 45 percent said oil and gas drilling on public lands should be strictly limited.
• 81 percent support the Bureau of Land Management rule requiring oil and gas producers who operate on public lands to use the latest technology to prevent methane gas leaks and capture waste gas.
For more see Denverpost.com.

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