UofM survey: Montanans overwhelmingly support public lands

Three Types of Public Lands
Three types of public lands: Flathead National Forest is in the foreground, left and right; Montana’s Coal Creek State Forest, including Cyclone Lake, is in the middle distance; Glacier National Park stretches across the background.

No surprises here. A pretty well-designed survey by the University of Montana revealed that people who live in Montana really like their public lands.

But, in a related story, Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte say they don’t believe it because “they had the support of local county commissions” for legislation to close down several wilderness study areas (WSA’s). You just can’t make this stuff up.

Anyways, here’s the lead-in for a good article on the survey. A link for the WSA issue follows . . .

The University of Montana 2018 Public Lands Survey showed wide, bipartisan appreciation for the state’s wild places.

“The takeaway for me is, support for policy to protect public land is going up, not down,” said Rick Graetz, director of UM’s Crown of the Continent Greater Yellowstone Initiative, which commissioned the survey. “That’s true on both sides of the aisle. Democrats, Republicans and Independents all see the value of it. That wasn’t true even 10 years ago when we started our program.”

The poll found four out of five Montanans considered public lands an economic benefit to the state, while just 3 percent said their presence hurt the economy.

Read more . . .

Also read: Daines, Gianforte discount poll showing broad support for keeping Wilderness Study Areas (Missoulian)