There is consensus among Republican and Democratic sportsmen and women on sage grouse conservation, clean water protections, national monuments, and public land management policies being debated right now
In a teleconference today, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Public Opinion Strategies revealed the results of a national bipartisan poll of hunters and anglers, which shows that sportsmen and women on both sides of the aisle agree when it comes to many of the major conservation issues being considered right now by Congress and the Trump Administration.
A national survey of 1,000 voters who identify as hunters or anglers was conducted online and over the phone in May 2017, and the data show:
- 97% agree that protecting and conserving public lands for future generations is important
- 95% agree it is important to maintain public lands infrastructure, like roads, trails, campgrounds, and historic sites
- 87% want no cuts to conservation in the federal budget
- 82% support the BLM’s plans to conserve the greater sage grouse
- 4 in 5 support Clean Water Act protections for headwater streams and wetlands
- 77% of Republicans and 80% of Democrats support keeping the number and size of existing national monuments that offer hunting and fishing
“In today’s polarized political climate, conservation has become a partisan issue with decision makers, but hunters and anglers strongly support conservation policies across the board, whether they’re Republican, Democrat, or Independent,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “This includes strong support for funding public land management agencies, like the U.S. Forest Service and BLM, and strong support for the BLM’s sage grouse conservation plans that are currently under review. Sportsmen are not split on supporting national monuments or balancing energy development with the needs of wildlife habitat. There’s also clear support for the Clean Water Rule, created to protect headwater streams and wetlands under the authority of the Clean Water Act.”
Sportsmen agree that investments in conservation are worth it, in part because they see returns for the American economy. Of the hunters and anglers surveyed, 9 out of 10 believe public lands provide net benefits for the economy, and 92 percent believe public lands are positive economic drivers.
Additionally, 95 percent agree that it’s important to have adequate funding and personnel to take care of public lands, 75 percent support providing financial incentives to farmers and ranchers to implement habitat conservation on private land, and 70 percent support an increase in funding for wildlife-friendly highway crossings and fences. Meanwhile, 67 percent oppose the idea of selling significant areas of public lands to reduce the budget deficit.
“These poll results just confirm what I’ve seen as a business leader in the fishing industry—there’s little to no argument about the value of conserving the places where we fish and hunt,” says K.C. Walsh, owner and president of Simms Fishing Products. “In fact, conservation and responsible management of public lands makes it possible for Simms to employ 180 hardworking people in Bozeman, Montana. Decision makers should be listening to what the public wants and to what makes sense for the American economy, like protecting isolated streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.”
And lawmakers should take note: Nine in ten sportsmen surveyed agreed that conservation issues factor into their support for elected officials. The results of the poll were presented yesterday to attendees of the Western Governors’ Association meeting in Whitefish, Mont.
“The public has made it clear that conservation and public lands are not controversial issues, so why do some make it partisan?” says Randy Newberg, who exclusively hunts public lands as the host of the Sportsman Channel show Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg. “Most sportsmen agree that public lands need proper care and sound management and that these lands are worthy of our investment. This data overrules the partisan division we’ve come to expect, and that should embolden lawmakers. Improving and protecting the value of public lands for wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation means taking a stand with hunters and anglers. To do otherwise is setting camp with special interests who have little in common with the majority of America’s hunters and anglers.”
Download the fact sheets and learn more about the poll here.
4 Responses to “New National Poll Shows That Hunter and Angler Support for Conservation Crosses Party Lines”
Great information to have, especially as we embark on a new Farm Bill. Despite the will of our citizens as represented in this survey, federal conservation spending has been declining as a percent of the national budget for over a decade . The environment is not only a great place to hunt, fish, hike, boat, but its literally our lifeline. Without a functioning, clean environment the human race and most wildlife will continue to decline and go extinct. Human population and demands on the environment are not sustainable. Mother Nature is already doing a course correction, and the consequences of our actions will only become more severe as we persist in this global destruction. This planet isn’t nearly as threatened as our race is.
It has quickly become clear that the trump gang is determined to remove any protections of public lands as quickly as they are able to and are a bunch of despicable liars and are enemies of all sportsmen.
I am a supporter of protecting public lands, clean water, and forest. I hunt, fish and hike. I vote against any politician who doesn’t support conservation.
I would hope our sportsmen and sportswomen take heed the next time they head to the polls. Check a politicians voting record and what lobbyists they frequent. A (D) or a (R) in front of the name should be the last thing checked before casting a ballot, and voting party lines has jeopardized our future generations’ health, safety, livelihood and access to public lands. For those politicians who answered questions on the campaign trails or at town halls about preserving lands and waterways, then voted or introduced bills to do the opposite (or never supported via their own bills or votes) should receive the full ire of voters. No sanctuary for the Chaffetz, Zinke, Gianforte, Brasso clowns. Call their offices, meet them at town halls, write letters and publically admonish in local newspapers. Get involved. Democracy is a beautiful thing.