The annual Conservation in the West poll was released this week, Jan. 6, and showed a high level of public ignorance when it comes to energy development on public lands.

"We asked voters whether or not they knew that energy development was occurring on public lands," says program coordinator for the State of the Rockies Project, Brendan Boepple. "47%, nearly half of those polled, didn't know if oil and gas development or any development was taking place on public lands."

When it came to support for certain energy sources, 37% of Montanans polled listed wind power as their first choice for an energy source that should be encouraged. Coal took second place with 15% followed by Natural Gas at 14%.

Montanans were extremely divided on the issue of coal development, with an equal number of respondents wanting to discourage the use of coal.