New poll: Montanans strongly support Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project

Survey shows continued strong support for plan to protect public land, recreation and timber jobs.

Senator Jon Tester introduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act in 2017

A poll of Montanans released today by the Montana Wildlife Federation shows continued strong support for the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project and collaborative efforts to protect wildlife habitat, recreational access, and timber jobs.

The Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project was developed through more than decade of local discussions among conservation, recreation, and timber groups in the Seeley Lake area. The project provides for forest restoration activities to support local timber jobs, the development of additional recreational trails, and the designation of 79,000 acres of additional wilderness on public land adjacent to the existing wilderness areas of the Mission Mountain, Bob Marshall, and Scapegoat.  Senator Jon Tester introduced the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act (S. 507) in February 2017 to complete full implementation of the project.

The poll released today by the Montana Wildlife Federation found:

  • Montanans continue to support the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project, which would protect wildlife habitat, ensure access to public land for hunting, fishing, and other recreation, and support timber harvesting to create jobs and improve forest health. 68% support the project and only 27% oppose the project.
  • Support for the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project was consistent across party lines, with 79% of Democrats 63% of Republicans, and 63% of independents expressing support for the proposal.
  • Montanans are strong supporters of collaborative efforts like the BCSP that bring together different stakeholders to find common ground over public land management issues.  75% of Montanans say they would be more likely to support a forest management plan developed through a collaborative approach, versus only 10 percent who would be less likely.
  • Fully 85% of Montanans think that members of Congress should hold in-person town hall meetings to hear from the public about public land management issues.

“This poll shows that Montanans know that the best way to protect wildlife habitat, public access, and local economies is for stakeholders to roll up their sleeves and work together.  Senator Jon Tester knows how important it is to listen to Montanans and carry their fight to Washington.  Now we need the rest of our congressional delegation to follow his lead and get this proposal over the finish line,” said Dave Chadwick, the Montana Wildlife Federation’s executive director.

The strong support for the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project collaborative effort mirrors other polls over the last several years, which have shown consistently strong support among Montanans for the project.

This  poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a national public opinion research firm.  PPP surveyed 512 Montana voters from February 14-16, 2018. The margin of error is +/- 4.3%. This poll was conducted by automated telephone interviews.