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Local News

Poll: AZ voters show strong preference for conservation efforts

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Alex Gonzalez, Producer

Voters from Arizona and across the West say a public official’s position on conservation will be an important factor when deciding who to support in the upcoming election. Colorado College’s most recent Conservation in the West Poll shows 81% of voters in the Grand Canyon State support 30×30 conservation goals, which would translate to protecting 30% of lands and oceans by 2030.

Lori Weigel, a pollster with New Bridge Strategy, said while last year Arizona voters expressed concern over the Colorado River, this year’s poll didn’t include specific questions about the vital waterway.

“So it wasn’t quite as acute on those general water-supply concerns as we’ve seen in past years, but actually water-quality concerns about pollution of rivers, lakes and streams was at the highest level we’ve seen in 14 years,” she said.

Pollsters found a majority of Arizona voters also say hazardous facilities that release water or air pollution in their community are a serious problem, with Latino and Native American voters most likely to express that concern.

Dave Metz, president of the firm F-M3 Research, said while there is a general and growing worry among voters about the state’s future of land, water and wildlife, he adds that people are seeking more news and information about conservation efforts and wanting to learn more about solutions.

“But when we ask questions about some of these challenges that we are facing around balancing our economic needs and our need for conservation, or even within competing environmental priorities — clean energy versus conservation — people think we can figure it out, they think that there are paths forward that will allow us to meet these needs at the same time,” he said.

The poll found Arizona voters expressed their support for more investments in clean-energy production while also preserving natural areas.

This story is republished from Public News Service under a Creative Commons license. Read the original story.