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New Poll Shows Conservation High Priority for Wyoming Voters

October 25, 2018

Results from a new statewide poll of 600 likely voters in Wyoming on topics related to conservation and natural resources are now available from the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming.

The poll was commissioned in association with the Ruckelshaus Institute, Wyoming Conservation Legacy (a partnership between the Wyoming Wildlife Federation and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union), The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming, Wyoming Stock Growers Association and Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust. The poll is the fourth in a series of public opinion polls on natural resource conservation in Wyoming organized by the Ruckelshaus Institute and partners since 2004.

Findings from the poll show that conservation continues to be a high priority for Wyoming voters and that voters from all parties consider conservation issues when deciding whether to support an elected official. Respondents ranked issues related to water, wildlife and threats to farms and ranches as equally, if not more important, than other issues related to health care and the economy.

Continuing an upward trend from previous iterations of the poll, a majority of respondents support the state Legislature fully funding the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust at the $200 million level, and a majority also support local tax increases to fund conservation, regardless of political affiliation. The poll also indicates that respondents view public lands as beneficial to the state, and a majority oppose states taking over management of national public lands.

“These results show that Wyoming voters identify as hunters, anglers and outdoor recreationists at much higher rates than the national level. It should come as no surprise, then, that Wyoming voters in all corners of the state value conservation and oppose efforts that would negatively impact the open spaces and wildlife that contribute to the high quality of life for people in the state,” says Nicole Korfanta, director of the Ruckelshaus Institute.

The poll was administered by Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies and surveyed 600 registered voters in Wyoming. The survey was conducted Oct. 9-13, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent statewide. The full survey and results are available on the Ruckelshaus Institute website at

About the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources

The Ruckelshaus Institute, a division of the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources at UW, advances the understanding and resolution of complex environmental and natural resources challenges and supports stakeholder-driven solutions to environmental challenges by conducting and communicating relevant research and promoting collaborative decision-making.

About Wyoming Conservation Legacy

The Wyoming Conservation Legacy is a partnership between the Wyoming Wildlife Federation and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) to support balanced conservation policies in Wyoming. The Wyoming Wildlife Federation works to conserve wildlife, habitat and outdoor opportunities. Founded in 1937, the federation is the oldest and largest sportsmen advocacy conservation organization in the state. RMFU is an advocate for family farmers and ranchers, local communities and consumers. RMFU is a progressive grassroots organization whose members determine its priorities. Founded in 1907, RMFU represents farm and ranch families in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

About The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming

This mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. With chapters in all 50 states and 72 countries, TNC works to find positive, science-based solutions for nature and people. Entering its 30th year, TNC’s Wyoming chapter is based in Lander and includes community-based landscape programs in Cody, Jackson, Sheridan and Cheyenne. TNC works with multiple conservation partners to keep Wyoming’s lands connected and resilient; to conserve Wyoming’s iconic wildlife; to restore and improve key watersheds in the state; and to support the effective balance between economic development and the preservation of our wide-open spaces.

About Wyoming Stock Growers Association

The mission of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association is to serve the livestock business and families of Wyoming by protecting their economic, legislative, regulatory, judicial, environmental, custom and cultural interest. Founded in 1872, the association advocates on issues affecting the cattle industry, Wyoming agriculture and rural community living; provides members with timely information regarding events in the cattle industry and the activities of the association; and promotes the role of the Wyoming cattle industry in resource stewardship, animal care and the production of high-quality, safe and nutritious beef.

About Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust

The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust was founded by a general membership vote of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association in December 2000. The establishment of the land trust was based on a growing need within the ranching community to provide voluntary, private-sector options for agricultural land conservation.

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