© 2024
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KUNC is among the founding partners of the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration of public media stations that serve the Western states of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

State Of The Rockies: Western Voters Identify As "Outdoor Enthusiasts"

Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. File photo.
Andrea Chalfin
91.5 KRCC
Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. File photo.

The 2019 State of the Rockies report says 70 percent of western voters identify as "outdoor enthusiasts." The annual bipartisan poll surveys how voters across the Mountain West feel about public lands, water, wildlife, and energy expansion. 

"It's not just a stereotype about the west," said Lori Weigel of New Bridge Strategy, a Republican-leaning opinion research firm that partnered with a Democratic-leaning firm to conduct the poll. "They are embracing it."

The State of the Rockies program is based at Colorado College in Colorado Springs and sponsors the survey.

"What we've seen is a consistent bipartisan support for public access, recreational access, and protection of public lands," said Corina McKendry, who directs the program. "What's happened in the last couple years is that sentiment has gotten even stronger."

The results also showed widespread support for improving animal migration corridors and re-authorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The majority of those polled were also open to paying more taxes to make sure these efforts could succeed. 

Among the top concerns for western voters were worsening wildfires and the future of the outdoor recreation economy if public lands are not protected.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Colorado College is 91.5 KRCC's licensee.

Copyright 2020 91.5 KRCC. To see more, visit .

Ali Budner is KRCC's reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, a journalism collaborative that unites six stations across the Mountain West, including stations in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana to better serve the people of the region. The project focuses its reporting on topic areas including issues of land and water, growth, politics, and Western culture and heritage.
Related Content