Poll: Utahns Do Not Favor New National Monuments in the State

Most Utahns do not favor President Barack Obama designating new national monuments in the state, a new UtahPolicy poll shows.

Pollster Dan Jones & Associates asked 604 adults whether they support or oppose the president naming a new national monument in Utah, and gave the three most likely locations for such executive action.

None of the areas gets a majority vote for a new national monument, Jones found.


Expanding the current Canyonlands National Park into BLM land nearby – with the new area being a national monument – has the most support.

But it still falls short of a majority.

Jones finds:

  • 40 percent of Utahns support a new national monument just outside of Canyonlands, located in Southeast-central Utah.
  • 48 percent oppose such a monument designation while 12 percent don’t know.

Jones also asked about an Obama designation on the San Rafael Swell, just north of Moab.

And at the Bear Ears area in San Juan County.

Half of all Utahns (50 percent) oppose a national monument on the Swell while 51 percent oppose a national monument at Bear Ears.

As might be expected, Utah Republicans greatly oppose a national monument at each of the three areas.

Canyonlands: GOP against it, 64-23 percent.

San Rafael Swell: GOP against it, 68-17 percent.

Bear Ears: GOP against, 68-13 percent.

Democrats are just the opposite: They favor a national monument at Canyonlands, 77-17 percent; at the Swell, 73-17 percent; and at Bear Ears, 74-15 percent.

Political independents are mixed. They favor a new national monument outside of Canyonlands, 49-40 percent; and at the Swell, 44-43 percent.

But independents oppose a national monument at Bear Ears, 45-41 percent, Jones finds.

As Jones has been discovering in other UtahPolicy polls over the last year, younger Utahns are more liberal or progressive on a number of issues.

No different on the national monument questions:

  • 18-24 year olds favor the Canyonlands monument, 60-15 percent; the Swell, 49-17 percent; and the Bear Ears, 48-20 percent.

The older the age group, the more they don’t want any national monuments designated by Obama.

  • Those 65 years and older: Against Canyonlands, 66-27 percent; the Swell, 68-22 percent; and Bear Ears, 69-19 percent.

Undoubtedly many Utahns still resent former President Bill Clinton’s designation of a large track of land in south-central Utah as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument back in 1996.

And Jones’ new poll shows that more Utahns don’t want any more national monuments than do want the new designations.

Jones survey 604 adults from Sept. 8-17; margin of error plus or minus 4.0 percent.