Arizonans concerned about open space and climate change

Posted on October 26, 2017 • Category: Environment


A new 2017 study finds that 68 percent of Arizonans agree that “protecting the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of slowing economic growth.” As the poll finds, Arizonans want good jobs but they also want protection for Arizona’s open space and natural resources.

Arizona Views


Although this Arizona Republic article was primarily concerned with citizen opinion on the environment and climate change, the Morrison study also polled Arizona on other issues of concern to citizens.


New research from the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance confirms how strongly Arizonans feel about our land, how it’s used and how it must be managed. Public support for open space has made Greater Phoenix the largest system of parks and preserves in the urban U.S.

  • Over 2,000 miles of designated trails now exist within the ring of county and municipal preserves circling the Phoenix metro region.
  • Population growth in Greater Phoenix is expected to reach nearly 7 million by 2040, significantly reducing public access to the region’s open space due to sheer numbers and its impact on our quality of life associated with open space.
  • Outdoor recreation contributes $12.7 billion in direct spending to Maricopa County generated by the travel and tourism industry.

The Central Arizona Conservation Alliance, an initiative of the Desert Botanical Garden, was one of the original "5 Communities" honored by CFA in 2011 for its innovative and forward-thinking leadership. The alliance now includes more than 50 partnering organizations, including counties, municipalities and citizen groups. For more information, click here
Source: Central Arizona Conservation Alliance, Desert Botanical Garden

The Center for the Future of Arizona is committed to building on this data to provide a statewide look at how Arizonans are managing our land, making it accessible and protecting our quality of life for future generations.


Arizona citizens described the future they want in the Gallup Arizona Poll, which identified eight citizen goals that describe Arizona as its citizens envision it. Arizona’s natural resources and open space continue to be a high priority.



Arizonans who agree that “protecting the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of slowing economic growth.”
Monuments to Arizona: Poll Finds Strong Support for Preserving State’s Wild Places  

Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, August 13, 2017



The Arizona We Want  
Center for the Future of Arizona, October 2009


2015 Vision 2025: Arizona Comes of Age  
Center for the Future of Arizona, October 2015

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Lattie F. Coor

My Perspective

When CFA set out to build a citizens' agenda for Arizona, we didn't know it would end up placing Arizona at the center of a national struggle to address the challenges confronting democracy today–the growing lack of confidence that citizens have in government and their growing lack of participation in the civic life of our communities and nation.

In many ways, Arizona is a microcosm of these challenges. This fact was made clear in the results of the Gallup Arizona Poll (2009), which identified the deep concerns that Arizonans have about the need for both effective leaders and engaged citizens. CFA is now in the process of building Arizona Progress Meters for each of the 8 citizen goals defined by the people who live here. The culmination of these goals is The Arizona We Want.

The Arizona We Want is a long-term vision and it can be achieved if we work together.

Learn More about how CFA is activating the citizens' agenda for Arizona.

Citizen goals sit at the heart of all we do.