A University of Montana poll has found overwhelming support for protecting the Montana Outdoor Fund.
Fully 82% of Montana voters say the state Legislature should continue to direct tax revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana toward conservation programs administered by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
The 2022 Voter Survey on Public Lands was commissioned by the University’s Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone Initiative (COCGYI). The biannual survey has tracked opinions of likely voters in Montana since 2014 and seeks to understand how residents think about public land and natural resource issues.
Support for these outdoor investments is strong regardless of political identify or geographic location. Ninety percent of democrats and 80% of republicans support marijuana taxes being dedicated as they are now - specifically to state parks, trails, public access, and wildlife habitat. Only 12% of voters say these funds should redirected to other purposes.
That shouldn't be surprising given how many Montanans use and value public lands and open spaces. The same poll showed that nearly 90% of Montanans make use of state and federal public lands including fishing access sites, state parks, and wildlife management areas.
In light of that information, the Montana Wildlife Federation says protecting Montana's open lands, wildlife, and clean water should be a no brainer.:
“This survey confirms that Montanans are more concerned than ever about protecting our public lands, especially in the face of the high rate of growth and development in our state. We hope all of our elected leaders recognize that 96% of Montanans see protecting big game habitat as an important priority and support policies that will help protect this prime habitat,” said Frank Szollosi, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation.