What we’re up against: Colorado College poll reports most westerners oppose more local control of federal lands

Denver 16th Street 1950s

16th St., downtown Denver, 1950s (PHOTO CREDIT: WIKIPEDIA COMMONS)

It’s hard to say how accurate this poll may be.  For one thing, many westerners, particularly in the West’s larger metropolitan areas, may have little contact with natural resources issues and their gravity — i.e., for those of us living in rural communities and who are dependent, in one way or another, on the surrounding natural environment and its natural resources.  The sample for analysis in a representative survey of western states will likely be weighted toward urban respondents.  (I’m not sure how to interpret the statement about demographic weighting offered in this survey’s methodology slide.)  Yet, it’s not unlikely of course that polls such as this one will carry more than a little weight with the elected representatives of western states in both houses of Congress.  The poll’s web page, at this college, offers (a) a handsome pdf of slides conveying the 2016 survey’s findings (download here), (b) the new survey’s press release (download here), and (c) links to roughly the same survey done in years past (click here).

— Ron

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