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Utahns are being urged to share their views on topics such as water, air quality, transportation and land use in one of the largest public-outreach efforts in the state's history.
The regional planning group Envision Utah said Tuesday it hopes to enlist 50,000 residents in its sophisticated interactive poll, designed to gather views and model how key policies will affect the state as its population is expected to double by 2050.
The "Your Utah, Your Future" poll accessible at envisionutah.org is open to all Utahns through the end of May.
More than 18 months in development, the survey is likely to generate one of the richest sampling of Utahns' policy views ever created, Envision Utah CEO Robert Grow said.
"We can see pathways forward on these issues," he said, "but Utahns need to understand them and make wise choices."
With appealing graphics and policy explanations written by hundreds of experts drawn from government and the private sector, the online survey lets users record their personal views on pressing issues affected by the state's rapid growth. Topics include agriculture, air quality, disaster preparedness, education, energy, housing, jobs and the economy, public lands, recreation, transportation and water.
The poll also allows participants to pick from five broad policy scenarios, ranging from zero preparation for growth to a full set of growth-related strategies.
The survey simultaneously gathers users' views on the issues, while also explaining, modeling and displaying the effects those policy decisions might have on the state some 35 years hence.
Data gathered in the poll then will be analyzed and formulated into policy recommendations, known as action items, for use by elected officials, local governments, businesses, developers and the public, Grow said.
Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City, serves on Envision Utah's executive committee and helped develop the survey's questions on air quality and housing. Chavez-Houck said the group's track record and expertise, combined with the poll's extensive public input, will lend credibility to the policy recommendations.
The survey, she said, "is a good way to check in with the public on their priorities and what is important."
O Residents can weigh in on the "Your Utah, Your Future" poll by going to envisionutah.org.