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New Survey Shows Widespread Support for Public Lands Protections in Montana

News from Skye Borden, Environment Montana Director

According to the eighth annual Conservation in the West Poll by the State of the Rockies Project, support for public lands protections remains extremely high in Montana.

“Montana’s public lands truly are some of America’s last best places,” said Environment Montana Director Skye Borden. “It only makes sense that Montanans would feel strongly about protecting them.”

Some notable survey results include:

·96 percent of Montanans think the outdoor recreation economy is important to the economic future of the state

·82 percent of Montanans consider themselves to be conservationists

·64 percent oppose eliminating protections for national monuments

·58 percent would prefer the Trump administration to emphasize public lands protections, as opposed to only 28 percent who would prefer the administration to prioritize energy production

According to the authors, the survey is designed to explore “bi-partisan opinions in each state and for the Rocky Mountain West region concerning conservation, environment, energy, the role of government, trade-offs with economies, and citizen priorities.” In addition to Montana, the survey includes polling from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

“Extractive industries like oil and gas were the economic engines of Montana’s past, but the new Montana economy is rooted in outdoor recreation, tourism, and an enviably high quality of life,” said Borden. “This survey reinforces what we already know: for the sake of our communities and our economy, we need to protect our public lands from development.”

Skye Borden may be reached at: sborden@environmentmontana.org.

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