Tom Udall, Steve Bullock Keynote Speakers at Symposium

Conservation in the West Poll Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Colorado College State of the Rockies Project is hosting a daylong symposium on Thursday, Feb. 20, which includes the release of the Conservation in the West Poll, now in its 10th year.

The symposium brings together conservation advocates, decision-makers, students, and others to explore conservation in the Rocky Mountain West. Keynote speakers include Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who will deliver the opening address, and New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, who will deliver the closing address, titled "A 'Quiet Crisis' No More: Conservation and Climate Change in the West."

Bullock, who has served as governor of Montana since 2013, was the state's attorney general from 2009 to 2013. He has created a council on climate change to come up with made-in-Montana solutions, restored funding to protect and enhance wildlife habitat, launched a state commission tasked with supporting state parks, trails, and secured agreements to make an additional 118,000 acres of land public. He also created the Office of Outdoor Recreation in 2017 to promote and grow Montana's outdoor recreation industry.

Udall was elected to the Senate in 2008 after serving as U.S. Representative for New Mexico's 3rd congressional district from 1999 to 2009 and as attorney general of New Mexico from 1991 to 1999. A long-time advocate for climate action and renewable energy, he tackled climate change with new legislation in 2019 that would get the country to a zero-carbon power sector by mid-century. Udall introduced the Thirty by Thirty Resolution to Save Nature, which would protect at least 30% of the country's lands and waters by 2030, and the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act to establish and protect wildlife corridors on federal and tribal lands.

A panel discussion will address the future of public lands, featuring panelists Maite Arce, president and CEO of the Hispanic Access Foundation; Len Necefer, professor of American Indian Studies at University of Arizona and founder of Natives Outdoors; Collin O'Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Foundation; and Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities.

Opening remarks will be delivered by Corina McKendry, State of the Rockies director and associate professor of political science, and Alan Townsend, Colorado College provost and professor of environmental science. The symposium will be held in Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave., with events in various locations in the building.

The Conservation in the West poll is a bipartisan survey of voters in eight Western states. As in past years, voters are asked about a range of topics, including climate, energy, outdoor recreation, water, and wildlife. Results of the poll, conducted in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, will be presented by Lori Weigel of New Bridge Strategy and Dave Metz of FM3 Research. See the full schedule and event locations here.

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