COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Utah residents will join residents of five other Western states as their attitudes toward conservation are tapped in a new poll.

Touted as a bipartisan effort that expands work done in a first-of-its-kind poll that began in January of this year, this survey will be based on 2,400 interviews conducted with randomly selected people.

The focus of this project looks at the issues and conflicts in the Colorado River basin.

The poll is part of Colorado College's State of the Rockies Project and was funded with a $175,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

This January, residents of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming and Arizona will participate in the "Conservation in the West" survey, which will be conducted by two polling firms — one Republican and one Democrat. The poll will be conducted in Spanish as well as English.

Survey results will be released by Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project, which works to increase public understanding of vital issues affecting the Rockies through annual report cards, lectures, forums and other activities.

Key findings in last year’s poll included:

 • 77 percent of respondents believe that stringent environmental standards and a strong economy can co-exist

•  81 percent believe environmental laws should not be relaxed for oil, gas and mining companies

•  Three-quarters view wind and solar power as job creators and better energy sources than fossil fuels

The project will culminate with a major conference in April 2012 and the publication of the 2012 State of the Rockies Report Card.

Amy Joi O'Donoghue

Twitter: amyjoi16