MISSOULA, Mont.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The National Forest Foundation (NFF) announced today results of a new nationwide survey of voters revealing strong personal connections many Americans have with the National Forests and the benefits these lands provide.
“The NFF has long recognized Americans’ personal connections to their National Forests through our work bringing people together to restore and enhance these public lands. This survey not only reveals these connections, but also shows there is strong support for funding of National Forest land and water”
These connections are so strong that four in five voters polled said despite federal budget problems, funding to safeguard National Forests should not be cut. Even more impressive, seven in 10 Americans said they would support a small increase in taxes in order to provide additional funding to restore damaged forest land and conserve additional lands.
Key findings from the bipartisan poll, conducted in partnership with research firms Public Opinion Strategies and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, are noted below:
81 percent of Americans across the political spectrum believe funding
of National Forests should not be cut, despite federal budget problems.
- 74 percent of Republicans surveyed
- 80 percent of Independents surveyed
- 89 percent of Democrats surveyed
72 percent of voters surveyed would support additional funding to
maintain and restore National Forest lands even if it meant a small
- Such supporters include groups that are traditionally more tax sensitive: 63 percent of seniors and 56 percent of conservatives said they would support additional funding even if it meant a small tax increase.
- 83 percent of voters agree that conserving America’s land, air and water is patriotic.
- Seven in 10 American voters from across the political spectrum agreed that one of the things the U.S. government does best is protect and preserve the country’s natural heritage through National Forests.
“The NFF has long recognized Americans’ personal connections to their National Forests through our work bringing people together to restore and enhance these public lands. This survey not only reveals these connections, but also shows there is strong support for funding of National Forest land and water,” said Bill Possiel, President of the National Forest Foundation.
“More than 160 million people visited a National Forest last year, generating $13 billion for the U.S. economy and helping sustain 223,000 jobs in local communities. This survey illustrates that respondents believe our National Forests have an impact on their overall well-being, and they appreciate the environmental benefits these forests provide.”
This expression of voter support for the National Forests comes at a time when funds are being diverted from forest restoration, wildfire prevention and other categories in the U.S. Forest Service budget in order to bridge the gap in funding needed to fight wildfires. In fact, this year the Forest Service has already allocated $1.5 billion to fire-related activities, $600 million more than anticipated.
For additional public sentiment insights resulting from the NFF survey, please refer to the summary at the end of this release.
Note: The NFF national survey was co-conducted by the bipartisan research team of Public Opinion Strategies (R) and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (D). The poll surveyed 800 registered voters nationally in a statistically valid telephone survey. Respondents were contacted on both landline and cell phones. The survey was conducted from July 20-24, 2013, and yields a margin of error of ±3.46 percent overall.
About the National Forest Foundation
Founded by Congress in 1991, the National Forest Foundation works to conserve, restore and enhance America’s 193-million-acre National Forest System. Through community-based strategies and public-private partnerships, the NFF enhances wildlife habitat, revitalizes wildfire-damaged landscapes, restores watersheds, and improves recreational resources for the benefit of all Americans. The NFF’s Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences national conservation campaign is uniting public and private partners to conduct large-scale forest and watershed restoration and revitalize ecosystem resiliency in iconic National Forest System sites around the nation. To learn more, visit us at www.nationalforests.org.
About Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) – a national Democratic opinion research firm with offices in Oakland, Los Angeles and Madison, Wisconsin – has specialized in public policy oriented opinion research since 1981. The firm has assisted hundreds of political campaigns at every level of the ballot – from President to City Council – with opinion research and strategic guidance. FM3 also provides research and strategic consulting to public agencies, businesses and public interest organizations nationwide.
About Public Opinion Strategies
Public Opinion Strategies is the largest Republican polling firm in the country. Since the firm’s founding in 1991, it has completed more than 10,000 research projects, interviewing more than 5 million Americans across the United States. Public Opinion Strategies’ research is well respected, and prestigious media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, NBC News and CNBC rely on Public Opinion Strategies to conduct their polling. The firm conducts opinion research on behalf of hundreds of political campaigns, as well as trade associations, not-for-profit organizations, government entities and industry coalitions throughout the nation.
About the Polling Partnership of FM3 and Public Opinion Strategies
FM3 and Public Opinion Strategies have conducted bipartisan research on a wide range of public policy issues over the last decade, in particular on conservation-related initiatives and policies. Together, the two firms have jointly conducted research on behalf of political campaigns, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and public agencies in 40 states and nationally. In these states, the two firms have conducted 680,000 interviews among voters and consumers.
Highlights of Additional Voter Sentiment from the National Forest Foundation Survey
National Forests contribute to the U.S. economy and jobs. Americans enjoy high-quality recreation opportunities the National Forests provide, which contributes to the U.S. economy and jobs.
- 80 percent of Americans engage in outdoor recreation (such as hiking, camping, boating and skiing); these outdoor recreationalists are more likely to have visited a National Forest.
- National Forest visits contribute $13 billion to the U.S. economy and help sustain 223,000 jobs in communities around National Forests.
Once a person visits a National Forest, they are highly likely to
return, indicating a high level of satisfaction with their National
- 87 percent of people who have gone to a National Forest three or more times in the past year plan to return to a National Forest again this year.
National Forests provide critically important public health benefits. Voters agree that National Forests provide numerous important benefits for the public. Topping the list are clean drinking water, clean air and the opportunity for children to explore nature.
- 89 percent of Americans consider the role that National Forests play in supplying clean drinking water to one-third of the U.S. population in 33 states to be an extremely or very important benefit.
- 87 percent value the importance of National Forests to provide clean water for drinking and irrigation.
- 85 percent responded that removing pollution from the air is an extremely or very important benefit.
- 82 percent believe that providing children with the opportunity to explore nature is extremely or very important.
- 79 percent understand that National Forests reduce global-warming pollution.