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Latino Poll Shows Support for Conservation Efforts

September 21, 2011

SANTA FE, N.M. - New Mexico Hispanics - no matter their political party, gender or age group - overwhelmingly support conservation of the state's land and water, according to a new survey.

The poll, by the Latino Sustainability Institute and Project New America Latino, finds that more than 90 percent of Hispanic voters are worried about water scarcity and forest fires, and nearly the same number are concerned about pollution of drinking water, lakes and rivers.

Arturo Sandoval, executive director of the Latino Sustainability Institute, says 73 percent favor funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

"I think there's not a town in the state that hasn't benefited from either having a park or a tennis courts or some kind of outdoor recreation facility in their towns. That's the beauty of the Land and Water Conservation Fund."

Other findings in the poll: A large majority supports additional public lands designated as national monuments, and most support ending billions spent every year in federal tax breaks to oil companies.

New Mexico, Sandoval says, is a bellwether state for the nation when it comes to Hispanic voter attitudes.

"Candidates in national elections and local elections coming up next year really need to pay attention to the need or to the value that Latinos have to support conservation issues."

The poll results are online at latinosustainability.org.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - NM