Poll: Utahns Favor Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative

A majority of Utahns favor U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative, a new UtahPolicy poll shows.

Bishop’s bill/effort is slowly moving through Congress. But with the U.S. Senate now in Republican control (the U.S. House has been Republican for some time), and with Bishop now the chair of the House’s Natural Resource Committee, the political success of his measure is on better grounds.

Pollster Dan Jones & Associates finds that 58 percent of Utahns “strongly” or “somewhat” support Bishop’s efforts, 31 percent oppose and 10 percent don’t know.

The Jones survey was conducted May 4-12 of 803 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percent.


Bishop started his initiative more than two years ago with the hope that, area by area across the state, and with the help of local officials, residents, environmental groups and others, he could reach some kind of consensus on the very difficult issue of public land management.

In each county some areas may be worthy of wilderness designation, while other areas opened up for resource development.

His effort is separate from GOP state lawmakers’ attempts to get BLM land and national forest service land turned over to the state for management and control.

Although certainly if the latter were to happen, Bishop’s lands initiative would move forward more easily – or not be needed at all.

Here is how Bishop himself, on his congressional website, explains his public lands initiative.

Here are some updates as a specific plan dealing with eastern Utah public lands moves through the current Congress.

And here is SUWA’s take on the Bishop effort, with a nice map showing the area of current action.

Bishop’s public lands efforts are greatly supported by Republicans, opposed by Democrats, and political independents support it, but not by much.

Jones finds:

— Republicans support Bishop’s lands initiative, 77- 13 percent, with 11 percent undecided.

— Democrats oppose his efforts, 66-27 percent, with 7 percent don’t know.

— And those who told Jones they belong to no political party, the Bishop effort is supported, 50-40 percent, with 9 percent undecided.