Westerners Want Elected Officials to Conserve Public Lands, Protect Wildlife Habitat

MISSOULA, Mont. — Westerners clearly want public officials to focus on conserving wildlife habitat, safeguarding clean water sources, and expanding opportunities for outdoor recreation over drilling for more oil and gas, according to the latest Conservation in the West poll released by Colorado College.

“This poll confirms what most of us already know: wildlife and our public lands and waters are integral to our very identity as Westerners. Whether we are hikers, campers, anglers, hunters, or bird watchers, we want to make sure these lands and waters are responsibly safeguarded for future generations,” said Tracy Stone-Manning, associate vice president for public lands at the National Wildlife Federation. “Elected officials from both parties should heed this call from Western voters: protecting public lands, waters and wildlife is a top priority.”

The poll surveyed voters in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Here are some key findings:

77% support a national goal of conserving thirty percent of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030
69% favor protecting our public lands for wildlife and recreation versus 27% who prefer more energy development on public lands
73% want oil and gas development on public lands stopped or strictly limited
81% support protecting wildlife migration corridors from oil and gas drilling 
93% want oil and gas companies to be required to pay for all clean-up and land restoration costs after drilling is completed

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