It seems like every time we read a newspaper or watch television someone has a new poll out. For once it’s nearly refreshing to see a poll that doesn’t promote some politician. No matter who the person is that’s running for office, their credibility is highly open to question these days.
On the heels of the recent U.S. Census data estimating the amount of money North Carolina’s sportsmen spend every year on their sports, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) have just released the results of a poll that indicates how our hunters and fishermen feel about some of the more important environmental issues facing us today. It seems to be a valid study and one that our nation’s outdoor sportsmen will appreciate. The specifics of how this poll was conducted are important.
The North Carolina Wildlife Federation is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to all NC wildlife and its habitat. It is the state affiliate to the National Wildlife Federation since 1945 www.ncwf.org
The NWF states that “The national public opinion poll was conducted among 800 self-identified hunters and anglers was conducted by Chesapeake Beach Consulting from August 27 through September 1, 2012 for the National Wildlife Federation. The sample for this survey was randomly drawn from a list of self-identified hunters and anglers. To qualify, a respondent must have indicated they were a hunter, an angler or both as well as a registered voter. All interviews were conducted by telephone, including 15% of the interviews by cell phone. The margin of error for this study is plus or minus 3.2% at the 95% confidence level.
“The poll shows that sportsmen prioritize protecting public lands above energy production. The poll conducted for the NWF shows threats to America’s conservation heritage are priority issues for sportsmen, on par with gun rights and sates that ”Hunters and anglers tend to be conservative politically, but many are split-ticket and independent voters. What’s clear from this poll is that sportsmen deeply value conservation – especially the protection of America’s public lands and waterways,” said Damon Hearne southeast conservation coordinator for Trout Unlimited.
Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation states, “it is our opinion that natural resources, resource-based recreation and the economy do go hand-in-hand. Any disconnect from the sportsmen community by elected officials must be reversed. This poll gives compelling evidence that wildlife resources, the environment, and natural resources matter to sportsmen voters regardless of party affiliation.”
“Supermajorities say Congress should update the 1872 Mining Law to ensure public lands are protected and royalties generated are used to clean up abandoned mines (82% favor) and restore Clean Water Act protections to wetlands and waterways, including smaller creeks and streams, to protect our health and important fish and wildlife habitat (79% favor). “Two in three sportsmen polled (66%) believe we have a moral responsibility to confront global warming to protect our children’s future. “Sportsmen strongly believe (91%) that children spend too much time in front of TV and computer screens and not enough time in nature which is a serious threat to the future of hunting, fishing and conservation.
“Respondents say that gun rights and conservation protections are equally valued “The recent USFWS hunter angler survey shows that sportsmen and wildlife enthusiasts contribute $3.3 billion annually to North Carolina’s economy.
“Sportsmen’s values for conservation are broad and deep – and it starts with protecting America’s public lands,” said Dick Hamilton, NC Camo Coalition Coordinator. “Hunters and anglers want the federal government to make it a priority to conserve fish and wildlife habitat and manage public lands for fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation.”;
“Sportsmen are on the front lines of global warming. From ducks short-stopping farther north to cold-water fish stressed by rising water temperatures, we’re already seeing changes where we hunt and fish,” said Richard Mode, NWF affiliate representative from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. “For those of us with boots on the ground, not in an office, these are literally kitchen table issues.”;
“Hunters and anglers were the first conservationists & remain the primary supporters of the conservation of natural resources,” states Fred Harris, natural resources specialist of the Federation.“ The survey shows they are aware of the major issues and do not see the resource conservation and the protection of public lands inconsistent with economic growth, rather they recognize that conservation can be a driver of economic growth as evidenced by the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation so protection of public lands, clean water and wetlands are supported by a strong bipartisan majority of hunters and anglers.”;
Read the poll memo and slide deck at http://www.nwf.org/sportsmen.aspx and the just-released 2011 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation State Overview http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/upload/FWS-National-Preliminary-Report-2011.pdf