New Poll: Utahns Say State Needs More Funding to Protect Our Air, Land and Water

Voters overwhelmingly want legislators to do more when it comes to conservation.

Salt Lake City, UT

Colorado River
Colorado River Utah A recent poll shows that Utahns have a strong desire for lawmakers to protect the state's air, land and water. © Tom Till

Ninety-seven-percent of Utahns believe the State Legislature has a major responsibility to address air quality concerns. And, 78% of Utah voters support Governor Gary Herbert’s proposal to direct 100-million dollars of this year’s $1.3 billion budget surplus to improving and protecting air quality.

In addition, 74% of voters statewide feel Utah needs additional funding to protect its air, waters and lands, and more than half said they would be more likely to vote for a legislator if he or she increased State funding for these issues.

These results have just been released from a statewide survey of 602 voters conducted by the bipartisan research team of FM3 Research and New Bridge Strategy, and sponsored by The Nature Conservancy.

“We’ve reached a tipping point on these issues,” said Dave Livermore, The Nature Conservancy’s Utah State Director. “Across all demographics, Utahns are saying that the protection of air, land and water matters to them, and they are counting on legislators to address these priorities.”

The survey shows people who live here have a strong desire for lawmakers to implement projects that address poor air quality and water supplies.

  • 71% believe monitoring and improving air quality are extremely or very important projects to fund.
  • 71% believe improving water quality and reducing pollution are extremely or very important projects to fund.
  • 88% believe ensuring adequate water supply for our future is an extremely or very important project to fund.
  • 76% believe conserving and restoring lands that provide clean water are extremely or very important projects to fund.

Elected officials are chiming in on what the survey numbers show. “Clearly the vast majority of Utahns hope Legislators will act on their behalf to solve our air quality problems and to protect our lands and waters,” said Chris Robinson, Summit County Council Member and CEO of The Ensign Group. “This year’s budget surplus gives law makers the chance to take a significant step toward safeguarding our quality of life.”

Representative Joel Ferry (R – Brigham City) is one of the State lawmakers working on these issues right now as the Legislative session unfolds. “Utahns deserve to live in a state where they can breathe healthy air, and depend on clean waters and viable natural lands,” said Ferry.  “By making it a priority to fund air quality and conservation this year, the Legislature can show how much they value their constituents’ well-being and future.”

From Feb. 11 to 18, 2019, FM3 and New Bridges Strategy conducted 602 live telephone interviews (via landline and cell phones) with a representative sample of likely November 2020 voters in UtahThe margin of sampling error for the study is +/-4.0% at the 95% confidence interval.

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 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, 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.