A new poll shows that 95 percent of Taos County voters think public lands are important. Additional findings show that the majority of residents polled have used their public lands in some way in the past three years, oppose state take-overs of federally managed lands, and want to protect nearby areas from development.
In the last three years:
- 74% of those polled have camped or hiked on public lands and 43% have fished.
- Taos County voter households also used public lands for hunting (21%), and horseback riding (21%).
- nearly four-fifths of those surveyed (79%) have utilized public lands in some way.
In addition to showing heavy use and value of New Mexico’s public lands, the Pecos Wilderness and the future of this area, including legislation to keep forest lands free from extractive industry and commercial development ranked high among those polled. After hearing some background information, 78% — favor and support legislation to protect the roadless areas surrounding the existing Pecos Wilderness. This includes Hispanics and Anglos, and those who identify as democratic, republican, or independent.
The poll highlights the growing need for elected officials and county leaders to work with local communities, recreationists, conservationists and others who care about the viability of these areas.
Read the poll results and analysis below: