9 out of 10

WESTERN VOTERS SAY CONSERVATION ISSUES WILL IMPACT HOW THEY VOTE

3 out of 4

Western voters want the Biden administration to focus on conserving public lands, parks, wildlife, and national monuments

86%

of Western voters say oil and mining companies aren’t paying their fair share for the damage they do to America’s land

71%

of Western voters are more likely to support a candidate who prioritizes protecting national parks and monuments

2 out of 3

independent voters worry the government won’t do enough to protect America’s natural resources against environmental disasters

84%

of Western voters say it’s important to update America’s 150-year-old mining law

Westerners want more conservation action from elected officials

Regardless of political party, Western voters in swing states like Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada say the outdoors are central to their way of life. They identify with outdoor spaces and deeply value access for hiking, hunting, fishing, and camping.

Overwhelming majorities say that national public lands, parks, and wildlife issues are not only important to them but that these issues will play an influential role in how they choose to vote.

At the same time, voters are eager to see politicians in Washington create new protections for threatened landscapes and updating out-of-date laws that put America’s public lands at risk.

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Local Conservation Efforts Popular Across the West

Click a state for more information and toplines.

Nevada

77% of Nevada voters support the proposal to designate Bahsahwahbee (Swamp Cedars) as a national monument.

82% of Nevada voters say it’s important to update the Mining Act of 1872 to strengthen environmental safeguards and require companies to pay a royalty for mining on public lands.

66% support the proposed Bureau of Land Management rule that would instruct land managers to treat land restoration and conservation as a use of the land vs. 34% opposed.

Arizona

79% of Arizona voters support the designation of Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni National Monument near the Grand Canyon.

86% are worried about losing open spaces, natural areas, wildlife habitat, and America’s most beautiful landscapes.

57% say conservation efforts to protect the land are a top priority vs. 26% who prioritize mining for minerals.

Colorado

84% of Colorado voters — including 71% of Republicans — support the Dolores River Canyon Country national monument proposal.

52% say renewable energy production is a top priority vs. 27% who prioritize drilling for oil and gas.

87% are concerned about corporations and developers harming the lands and waters we use for outdoor recreation, hunting, and fishing.

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Bipartisan Support for Conservation in the West

Click an icon for more information and toplines.

Republican

59% of Republican voters support the proposed Bureau of Land Management rule that would instruct land managers to treat land restoration and conservation as a use of the land.

76% support updating the Mining Law of 1872 to strengthen environmental safeguards and require companies to pay taxpayers a royalty for mining on public lands.

48% support the President designating national monuments through executive authority.

53% would be more favorable to President Biden if his administration did more to protect and conserve public lands, parks, wildlife, and national monuments.

Democrat

87% of Democratic voters say the government should do more to regulate oil, gas, and mining corporations that operate on federal lands.

94% are concerned about losing open spaces, natural areas, wildlife habitat, and America’s most beautiful landscapes.

88% support President Biden using executive authority to designate land or water as a national monument.

87% believe that the current administration has not done enough to create and protect new public lands and national monuments.

Independent

64% of Independent voters trust Congress more than President Biden to handle conservation efforts to preserve land, parks, and wildlife, but…

79% would be more favorable to President Biden if his administration did more to protect and conserve public lands, parks, wildlife, and national monuments.

70% support the proposed Bureau of Land Management rule that would instruct land managers to treat land restoration and conservation as a use of the land.

Elected Officials Gain Favorability with Western Voters by Protecting Public Lands

71% of Western voters are more likely to support a candidate who prioritizes protecting and investing in national parks and monuments for the public.

71% are more likely to support a candidate who prioritizes protecting public lands from being taken over by private developers and oil and mining corporations.

73% say the government should do more to address overcrowding and better maintain national parks, public lands, and national monuments.

63% worry the government won’t do enough to protect America’s natural resources against overdevelopment, corporate greed, and environmental disasters, while just 37% worry the government will go too far with regulations and restrictions on land use that hurt our economy.

2022 Drilldown by State

In Arizona there is a proposal to designate the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon as a national monument. The proposed national monument would include more than 1 million acres adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park and would protect tribal cultural and historic sites against any future mining claims, while also enhancing the natural, recreational, and scientific resources of the region. Do you support or oppose President Biden designating the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon as a national monument?

[Voters were polled prior to President Biden’s designation of the national monument.]


All AZ Voters

Democrat

Republican

Independent

Strongly Support

45%

73%

37%

25%

Somewhat Support

34%

21%

40%

42%

Somewhat Opppose

11%

4%

13%

17%

Strongly Oppose

9%

2%

10%

16%

TOTAL SUPPORT

79%

94%

78%

67%

TOTAL OPPOSE

21%

6%

22%

33%

In Colorado there is a proposal to designate the Dolores River Canyon Country as a national monument. The proposed national monument would protect existing public lands surrounding the Dolores River in western Colorado to conserve important wildlife habitats, safeguard the area’s scenic beauty, and support outdoor recreation. Do you support or oppose President Biden designating the Dolores River Canyon Country as a national monument?


All CO Voters

Democrat

Republican

Independent

Strongly Support

43%

62%

41%

29%

Somewhat Support

41%

32%

43%

45%

Somewhat Opppose

10%

4%

10%

15%

Strongly Oppose

6%

2%

7%

10%

TOTAL SUPPORT

84%

94%

84%

74%

TOTAL OPPOSE

16%

6%

16%

26%

In Nevada there is a proposal to designate the Bahsahwahbee National Monument (locally known as Swamp Cedars) as a national monument. The proposed national monument would protect land that was once a ceremonial and pilgrimage site for thousands of Indigenous Newe Peoples, and was at the heart of three 19th century massacres, one being the largest known Indian massacre in US history. Do you support or oppose President Biden designating Bahsahwahbee (Swamp Cedars) as a national monument?



All NV Voters

Democrat

Republican

Independent

Strongly Support

39%

63%

38%

18%

Somewhat Support

38%

27%

44%

42%

Somewhat Opppose

13%

7%

13%

18%

Strongly Oppose

10%

2%

5%

22%

TOTAL SUPPORT

77%

91%

82%

60%

TOTAL OPPOSE

23%

9%

18%

40%

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About

The Winning the West poll was conducted in July 2023 by Benenson Strategy Group. It included 1,807 Likely 2024 Voters in Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada1,807 likely 2024 voters in Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada.

Interested in learning more? The Center for Western Priorities is available to provide briefings on the importance of a pro-public lands message to winning Western votes. Our polling is a useful resource to candidates and interested parties looking to connect with voters in the Mountain West.

The Center for Western Priorities is a conservation policy and advocacy organization focused on land and energy issues across the American West.

info@westernpriorities.org
303-974-7761