Maxwell Bernstein | July 15, 2020
A new study from Duke University, University of Wyoming, and The University of Rhode Island found that rural voters in the American West are in favor of environmental protection and conservation, even when these protections may adversely affect economic growth, according to The University of Wyoming.
The study surveyed 1,800 voters nationwide and found that 73% of rural western voters said that conservation issues were very or pretty important to them personally. Rural voters are less comfortable with government oversight on regulations than urban voters despite political affiliation.
The attitudes of rural western voters on environmental issues are similar to rural voters across the United States, which is why this study highlights the significance of this demographic. The study found that western farmers trust the information of farmers and ranchers along with the information from university scientists.
“Environmentalists, conservation groups, and policymakers should engage with rural voters and rural stakeholders in developing environmental policies that impact rural communities,” the study said. “Policymakers should focus on bolstering scientific outreach through universities, cooperative extension, and new ways to connect rural America to the nation’s top scientists.”