Poll Clearly Shows Westerners Want leaders to Prioritize Wildlife, Lands Conservation

DENVER – Westerners want elected officials to focus on conserving wildlife, restoring public lands, safeguarding clean air and water, and expanding opportunities for all people to gain access to nature, according to the latest Conservation in the West poll released by Colorado College. The poll also showed that Westerners want leaders to reform the current oil and gas leasing system on our nation’s public lands.
“Westerners care deeply about the iconic wildlife and spectacular landscapes that define the West – and they want to make sure they endure and thrive for future generations. The results of this poll should encourage all elected leaders to further prioritize responsible conservation, habitat restoration, and expanded access to nature,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “These poll results also make it abundantly clear that most Westerners want to see the federal oil and gas leasing system brought into the 21st century for the benefit of people and wildlife alike.” 
"These new poll findings confirm what we already know, Westerners are deeply worried about the future of our air, land, water, wildlife and natural resources. Southwest residents are particularly worried about the future of water availability, dwindling and disappearing rivers, increased wildfires, and the lack of regulation on the oil and gas industry,” said Camilla Simon, executive director of HECHO (Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting and the Outdoors). “Hispanic communities have long asked Congress to take stronger action to conserve our natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities because they're worried about our future and they know that we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs with a pro-climate agenda. We ask that policymakers take a close look at these results and take action to conserve the places we love, such as the Grand Canyon plateau in Arizona and the Caja del Rio in New Mexico."
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 and restoring 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030
81% support funding to expand access to nature for underserved communities
80% support the creation of new parks and wildlife refuges for outdoor recreation
91% support requiring oil and gas companies – not taxpayers– to pay for cleanup and land restoration after drilling is completed 
65% support increased fees for oil and gas companies to drill on public lands

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