Nebraskans Agree Conservation is Needed

Polling indicates support for conservation on working lands includes the use of easements.

A river stream winds through tall grass
NebCherryRanch (FULL RIGHTS, CREDIT IS MANDATORY) TNC Cherry Ranch Preserve, Sioux County, Nebraska. May 2001. Niobrara River. Northern Great Plains Steppe Ecoregion. Photo credit: ©Chris Helzer/TNC © Chris Helzer/TNC

Media Contacts

  • Katie Torpy
    Climate & Energy Policy Lead
    The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska

A recent statewide survey  conducted by New Bridge Strategy demonstrates that Nebraska voters believe that there is still more to be done on conservation in the state - regardless of political affiliation. Specifically, 79% of Republicans, 84% of Independents, and 83% of Democrats said that more needs to be done to protect land, water, and wildlife.

"It's heartening that Nebraskans are united by nature," said John Cougher, State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska.  "Whether they hunt, fish, birdwatch, hike, bike, or simply want clean water, the people of this state care not only about nature, but also about the families who are stewarding our land and water."

Most voters also said the loss of family farms and ranches is an extremely serious or very serious problem in Nebraska.  Republicans and Independents are particularly concerned, with 60% of Republicans saying it is an extremely/very serious problem and 52% of Independents saying it is an extremely/very serious problem.

Although the use of conservation easements has sparked heated debate, 90% of those polled supported using Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund dollars to fund conservation easements, with support across party lines and throughout the state.

"Conservation of our natural areas is going to be on working lands," said Sarah Sortum of Switzer Ranch and Calamus Outfitters in Loup County.  "Private property owners are the best stewards of the land.  We're in the best position to make a really informed decision about what should happen in the future."

Audubon Nebraska, The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska, the Sierra Club, and the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District all contributed funds for polling.  The margin of error is +/-4.38 percent.

Download a summary of the polling. 



The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.