and 1 percent African American/ black. Just under half are male (48 percent) and just over half are female (52 percent).
The numbers reflect fairly steady rates in Wyoming back to 2011 when the survey began here.
Differences are notable between perceptions of Wyoming voters and their actual opinions.
One concerns the new Department of the Interior, Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land-use management, specifically is to do with greater sage-grouse conservation management policies that the DOI wants to change or drop.
More than half (55 percent) say these three-year-old plans should be kept intact, while 38 percent say they should be changed to some degree.
With Trump’s DOI also reviewing national monument policies, statewide voters show very strong support to keep things as they are now.
Those surveyed highly support national monuments – for helping the economy (88 percent), being national treasures (90 percent), important places for future generations (95 percent), places to learn heritage and history (90 percent) and “places I want my children and grandchildren to see someday” (95 percent).
More than half think it’s a bad idea to remove monument protections (52 percent) and only 35 percent think it is a “good idea.” The split is similar to answers about if the monuments should be shrunk or released – 33 percent agree and 57 percent disagree.
Less than one in five say national monuments hurt local economies, and fewer than one in four say they “tie up too much land.”
Perhaps another surprising set of answers from the Energy State is that voters see natural gas, wind power and coal as best representing Wyoming’s future – but coal, then natural gas and then wind power have the most potential to help our economy.
About three-quarters feel our dependence on fossil fuels is a more serious issue than uncontrollable wildfires, low water levels in rivers or rolling back environmental laws.
As for expanding how much public land should be available for oil and gas drilling and uranium mining, Wyoming voters almost split down the middle. Forty-five percent support, and 44 percent oppose, expanding how much public land is available to private companies for oil and gas drilling, while 46 percent support, and 40 percent oppose, making more public land available for private companies to mine uranium and other metals.
Almost all Wyomingites polled believe the outdoor recreation industry is important to the West. Eighty percent consider themselves “conservationists” while 87 percent identify with “outdoor recreation enthusiast,” with 46 percent both hunting and fishing and 35 percent doing neither.
Regular outdoor recreation activities are camping (69), hiking (65), bird and wildlife watching (53), boating (41), off-road vehicle or snowmobiling (39), mountain biking (23) and hunting and fishing (14) – all of which have risen in the past five years.
Fifty-percent oppose raising national park fees during the peak seasons, with 40 percent in support. The same half opposes privatizing national park and public lands campgrounds and facilities.
The January 2018 survey, hosted by Colorado College, includes Idaho for the first time this year. Public Opinion Strategies canvasses 400 voters at random in each state – Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico.
To see current and past “Conservation in the West” survey results, go to https://coloradocollege.edu/other/stateoftherockies
SUBLETTE COUNTY – For eight years now, the State of the Rockies Project has surveyed Wyoming and other western states’ voters about conservation, energy, public lands, water – and attitudes toward their own elected officials.
Of the 400 Wyoming voters polled in January, the vast majority at 82 percent disagrees with the statement: “Elected officials in Washington, D.C., generally reflect my values.”
These would be U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and U.S. Sens. John Barrasso and Mike Enzi.
Wyoming’s elected stake officials get a better grade in the “Conservation in the West” survey, with 59 percent polled agreeing, and 38 percent disagreeing, that they reflect their values.
These are state representatives and senators of the Wyoming Legislature.
As for President Trump’s ratings, 59 percent approve of how he’s handling land, water and wildlife issues and 67 percent for how he’s handling the economy.
This year, 67 percent of those polled are Republican, 19 percent are Democrat and 14 percent are Independent or “something else.” Just over half call themselves “conservative,” one-third are “moderate” and 12 percent are “liberal.” (Four percent didn’t know or declined to answer.)
Their main racial heritage is white (87 percent) with 4 percent Hispanic/ Latino, 4 percent Native American