Conservation in the West Poll Finds Support for Protecting Lands
The 8th annual Conservation in the West poll has found that a small majority of Montana voters who responded to the poll conducted by the Colorado College favor President Donald Trump’s handling of issues related to land, water and wildlife.
Spokesman Jonah Seifer said the poll was very close, with 46 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed.
“Over the past two years, we’ve seen a tremendous jump in the amount of voters who identify themselves as conservationists,” said Seifer. “In 2016 it was 63 percent, while in 2017 it was 76 percent. Some 87 percent of Montanans surveyed identify them selves as outdoor recreation enthusiasts. We found in this last poll that 96 percent of Montanans believe that the outdoor recreation industry is critical to the economic future of their state.”
Seifer said Colorado College contacts with two different polling companies, one identified as Democratic and one as Republican so as to provide balanced data.
“One of the questions we asked specifically was should the Trump administration place more emphasis on protecting clean water, air and wildlife habitat, or should the administration place more emphasis on producing more domestic energy through responsible oil and gas drilling,” he said. “While the Interior Department seems to be pursuing domestic energy production quite aggressively, it seems that 58 percent of Montanans would prefer prioritization of clean air and water over the production of energy.”
The poll also found that 42 percent of respondents support and 50 percent oppose raising fees to enter some of the country’s largest national parks during peak season.