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2024 Montana Primary elections
Montana news about the environment, natural resources, wildlife, climate change and more.

Quality of life in Montana down, according to survey

A graphic from 2024 Voter Survey on Public Lands. Question: When you think about life here in Montana and what you would like to keep for future generations growing up in the state, what are the two or three things you would NOT want to change about Montana?
University of Montana Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone Initiative
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A graphic from 2024 Voter Survey on Public Lands. Question: When you think about life here in Montana and what you would like to keep for future generations growing up in the state, what are the two or three things you would NOT want to change about Montana?

The latest survey of Montanans views of public lands shows an increase in support for recreation and conservation but a sharp decline in Montanan’s reported quality of life.

The Public Lands Survey from the University of Montana shows continued bipartisan support for public access and support for land conservation. This year’s survey of 500 registered Montana voters is the sixth survey of its kind.

In the most recent poll, more than 60% of voters reported a decline in their quality of life over the last five years.

“It’s quite clear that residents all over the state, even out on the prairie, are struggling with growing pains and our quality of life is down this year according to the results,” Professor Rick Graetz with the University of Montana said.

The 2024 survey also found the majority of voters have concerns over urban sprawl, drought and the overall character of the state. All of those concerns have increased since the last survey done in 2022.

Graetz said these feelings could be a big part of why voters across the political spectrum often agree on preserving natural resources and public land access.

Ellis Juhlin is MTPR's Rocky Mountain Front reporter. Ellis previously worked as a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a reporter at Yellowstone Public Radio. She has a Master's Degree in Ecology from Utah State University. She's an average birder and wants you to keep your cat indoors. She has two dogs, one of which is afraid of birds.

ellis.juhlin@mso.umt.edu
406-272-2568
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