By ROBERT DAVIS
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – Voters in the Mountain West area are increasingly concerned about environmental issues in their states, according to a recent poll.
The “Conservation in the West” poll, conducted by Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project (SRP), gauged voter opinions in eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Overall, it showed increased concerns about drinking water, wildfires, droughts and climate change.
“We are witnessing a perfect storm of threats that are driving ever higher levels of concern for the state of our lands and waters in the Mountain West region,” said SRP Director Katrina Miller-Stevens. , in a press release. “Unsurprisingly, most voters align with policies that would help mitigate threats by conserving and protecting more outdoor spaces.”
According to the survey, 69% of respondents say they are “concerned about the future of nature, i.e. land, water, air and wildlife”, compared to 61% in the survey. last year.
The heightened concerns come as visitation to national public lands continues to increase. More than 88% of respondents said they had visited at least one national park in the past year, and 93% said they regularly participate in recreational activities such as hiking, hunting or snow sports.
One of the issues that voters are most concerned about is the transition to clean energy and the removal of oil and gas wells from public lands, according to the poll.
More than 90% of respondents said they favor requiring oil and gas companies to be financially responsible for any accidents or spills and to clean up any mess caused.
Two-thirds of those surveyed said they fully support the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources such as solar and wind power.