A recent poll commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts has found that 55 percent of Utah residents support the idea of a Bears Ears National Monument. Forty-one percent oppose the idea.
Seventy-five percent believe that an economic payoff of a Bears Ears National Monument supported the idea of a monument.
The poll also found that the designation of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996 is perceived as beneficial to Utah, with 70 percent of respondents describing the monument as positive, 6 percent as negative, and 15 percent as having no impact.
The poll of 600 voters who have landlines and cellphones was conducted on July 26-31 by Benenson Strategy Group. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.94 percentage points.
Pew Charitable Trusts stated in a July 14 letter to Rep. Jason Chaffetz that generally “supported the fundamental premise of the Utah Public Lands Initiative (PLI) from the beginning” but that the legislation (HR5780) needed improvements such as restricting development in the Book Cliffs region and protecting areas from grazing. Unless the improvements are made, Pew said it prefers that President Barack Obama use his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the region as a national monument.
Other key findings:
Nearly 90 percent of Utahans have visited national parks, forests or refuges once or twice in the past year.Almost 70 percent of Utahans said that hiking and camping are the most popular outdoor recreation activities.Almost 80 percent of Utahans believe that protecting and conserving land is “very important,” and 21 percent believe it is “somewhat important.”