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Poll of western states shows that Arizonans support land and water conservation

The Colorado College State of the Rockies poll takes the temperature of westerners on issues such as water, public lands and conservation.

This year’s survey shows a large number of Arizonans support preserving the state’s land and water.

The poll showed that drought and water conservation are high on the list of things that concern Arizona residents.

It also showed the majority support conserving 30% of the nation’s land and water by 2030, a target known as 30 by 30.

That’s part of the Biden administration’s climate change policy, and it polled well throughout the West.

Matthew Nelson, executive director of the Arizona Trail Association, said the numbers do not surprise him.

"People move here, live here, establish families and businesses here because of access to public lands, open spaces, trails, parks, monuments, forests, canyons. I mean really, that defines the state," Nelson said. "And so when I see numbers like 86% support 30 by 30, and 89% believe that the Colorado River is critical to our state’s economy, I think these are people that are in touch with our state and our state’s resources."

Sixty-two percent of Arizonans also supported a permanent ban on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.