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Survey: 3 in 5 Montanans believe quality of life has fallen; public lands support high

A newly released survey shows a total of 3-in-5 Montanans believe their quality of life has fallen over the past five years.
Yellowstone Public Lands Survey
Posted at 10:22 AM, Apr 24, 2024

MISSOULA — The newly released Greater Yellowstone Initiative Public Lands Survey shows a total of 3 in 5 Montanans believe that their quality of life has fallen over the past five years.

The 2024 Voter Survey on Public Lands was commissioned by the University of Montana’s Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone Initiative (COCGYI).

The survey, which has been conducted since 2014, polled 500 Montana voters over several days in late March from across the state, with the majority citing the increase in growth for the decrease in quality of life.

Even with the decrease in quality of life, one thing remained consistent among Montana voters: The survey found support for public lands and waterways.

This was seen by the approval of legislation that protects and conserves public lands.

One example is the Lincoln Proposal, which would increase the protections for national forests. About 76% of respondents supported this.

Another example is the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, which would protect public hunting and fishing as well as designating more land as protected. It received 85% support.

Finally, the Headwaters Proposal, which would protect several rivers, garnered 83% support in the survey.

Overall, the survey results showed conclusive evidence that public lands and waterways remain at the top of the mind for Montana voters.

The issues will be key factors in deciding who Montanans will cast their votes for.