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Conservation Candidates’ Immigration Challenge

author Published by Jeremy Beck

Candidates who emphasize habitat and wildlife conservation have an edge in these Western states. But to fulfill campaign promises, conservation candidates will have to address immigration policy.

Conservation candidates must address immigration

Colorado College’s 14th Annual “State of the Rockies” poll is out, and voters are especially concerned about the loss of natural habitats and wildlife within their borders:

“The poll, which surveyed the views of voters in eight Mountain West states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming), found 67 percent of voters are worried about the future of land, water and wildlife. Majorities of voters view issues like loss of habitats and declining fish and wildlife populations, inadequate and polluted water supplies, microplastics, uncontrollable wildfires, air pollution, loss of pollinators, and loss of natural spaces as extremely or very serious problems in their state.”

More than three out of four voters say those issues are important in deciding who to vote for, with 37 percent citing them as a “primary factor.”

NumbersUSA studied land loss in each of those states. Here’s what we found:

Factors in Rocky Mountain State Land Loss

The key factor in the loss of natural habitats and wildlife is population growth. Federal immigration policy has been the primary driver of U.S. population growth for decades, and is projected to be the sole driver of population growth moving forward.

Illegal immigration across the border alone has added 7.2 million people in a little over three years. That’s more than the population of thirty six U.S. states.

Illegal immigration has surpassed the population of 36 U.S. states.

There are multiple policies that can mitigate the loss, but to prevent loss, policymakers must align immigration policy with their goals for conservation.

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