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Public Land Use Poll Report_May 5 2011

Public Land Use Poll Report_May 5 2011

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Published by Bryan Schott
Utahns Want County Commission Leadership to Resolve Public Lands Issues
Utahns Want County Commission Leadership to Resolve Public Lands Issues

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Published by: Bryan Schott on May 17, 2011
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05/17/2011

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Public Land Use Poll
May 5, 2011
 
 
 
Utahns Want County Commission Leadership to Resolve Public Lands Issues
By LaVarr Webb
Publisher, Utah Policy Daily
Utahns, both statewide and especially in rural areas, look to their county commissioners,more than anyone else, for leadership on public lands and wilderness issues.A recent survey, conducted statewide with a large oversample in Grand, Emery, Carbon, SanJuan and Piute counties, showed overwhelmingly that citizens want their county commissioners tolead discussions on wilderness issues. The survey also showed solid support for Utah counties toengage in a process similar to what occurred in Washington County a few years ago to resolveconflicts among public lands stakeholders.
The survey, conducted by Opinionology, a respected national survey research firmheadquartered in Utah County, used a randomly drawn sample of 600 registered votersstatewide, with an additional sample of 500 respondents in the five rural counties mentionedabove. It was conducted at the end of February and has a possible error margin of plus/minus 4%. The survey was commissioned by Utah Policy Daily(
 
) and the Exoro Group.
In the rural counties, an overwhelming 70% of respondents said county commissioners fromaffected counties should lead stakeholder discussions to resolve wilderness issues and public landsconflicts. Only
small numbers said the congressional delegation, governor’s office, or public lands
management agencies should lead the discussions. Statewide, 52% said county commissionersshould lead the discussions, with 26% saying public lands agencies should provide the leadership,and much less support for others.While citizens clearly want county commissioners to provide the leadership, they alsobelieve all other stakeholder groups should participate in the discussions. Seven different stakeholdergroups
 – 
 
county commissioners, congressional delegation, governor’s office, public land agencies,
off-road vehicle groups, conservation groups and
sportsmen’s groups all had strong support, among
both statewide and rural respondents, to participate in stakeholder discussions.Statewide, 54% said other Utah counties should engage in a process similar to Washington
County’s to resolve public lands conflicts, while only 22% opposed. In
the rural counties, it was 51%in support, with 21% opposed.The poll also showed Utahns like local government better than any other level or entity of government. By far, city and county leaders have the highest favorability ratings. City leaders, as agroup, enjoyed 74% favorability, with county leaders close behind at 70%. By contrast, the federalgovernment had only a 36% favorability rating; the U.S. Congress, 37%; and the Utah Legislature,57%.An earlier survey also showed that Utahns trust their city and county leaders, far more thanany other public officials at other government levels, to make decisions regarding taxes and otherkey issues.
 
Question #1
In 2009, Congress passed legislation to balance growth and conservation in WashingtonCounty. The law designated new wilderness areas, off-road vehicle trails, transportationcorridors, and conservation areas. It also designated some public lands to be sold for localdevelopment. The legislation was a result of discussions led by Washington CountyCommissioners along with many other local, state and federal stakeholders.Were you aware that stakeholders in Washington County had come to such an agreement?
Question #2
Do you think other counties in Utah should undertake a similar process to that taken inWashington County to resolve conflicts among public lands stakeholders?
19%80%
Statewide Results
YesNo
25%74%
Rural County Results
YesNo54%51%22%21%24%27%
StatewideRural Counties
YesNoDon't Know

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