Western Voters: Yes to Conservation, No to Extremism

Voters in Western states generally favored candidates who support public land conservation in this November’s election and rejected extremist rhetoric.

1 minute read

November 29, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


View of park ranger with tan hat from behind, ranger looking out at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

A park ranger looks out at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. | Cavan-Images / Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

According to an article by Jonathan Thompson in High Country News, voters in the western United States generally favored public land conservation in this month’s election, but races across the West yielded mixed results.

As Thompson puts it, with the defeat of Ammon Bundy and other candidates with extreme views, “Western voters generally chose pragmatism over ideology, moderation over extremism and competent governance over outright lunacy, drawing a collective sigh of relief from most reasonable folks.” In New Mexico, voters overwhelmingly elected Democrats in what Thompson calls a “blue tsunami,” bucking the convention that high gas prices hurt the party currently in power.

Thompson describes some of the pro-conservation candidates who won their races, as well as some right-leaning winners who have expressed hostility toward conservation, such as Ryan Zinke and Lauren Boebert. See the source article for an analysis of how election results could impact conservation and public lands in the West.

Monday, November 28, 2022 in High Country News

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