As Americans prepare to go to the polls next week, a new study in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences shows there is strong bipartisan support for conservation initiatives, with minorities especially concerned about the health of the nation’s lands and waters.
The new analysis looked at the intersection of politics and nature, providing insight to the coming elections on November 6, when more than 60 conservation-related state initiatives will be decided by voters across the country. Conservation measures have a historical passage rate of 75% because of bi-partisan support. Some of their findings also address natural services, such as food production and storm protection.
Their analysis highlights several findings:
“These studies reveal that Americans care deeply about the outdoors, and the benefits that nature provides us,” said co-author Hazel Wong, Director of Conservation Campaigns with The Nature Conservancy. “Our elected officials around the country should be aware that it’s in their interest to be responsive to nature’s strong, bipartisan constituency.”
Co-author Michelle Marvier of Santa Clara University commented, “It’s time for conservationists to quit preaching only to the choir. Protecting nature for its own sake is all well and good, but to regain broad public support we need to emphasize and demonstrate that protecting nature is in people’s best interest.”
In addition to the polls included in Wong’s and Marvier’s analysis, a later national poll conducted in Spring of 2012 also reflected strong bipartisan support for the outdoors.
At that time more than 80% of voters believed that “conserving our country's natural resources - our land, air and water - is patriotic.” Support for that statement came from 89% of Democrats; 79% of Independents; 79% of Republicans; and 79% of Tea Party members.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.