Red or blue, Americans care about conservation

October 18, 2013

Coalition members know that Washingtonians value their natural heritage, but being locked out of treasured places like Mt. Rainier and the Grand Canyon for two weeks made it clear all Americans value their public lands.

A recent poll released by Public Opinion Strategies showed that Americans overwhelmingly support conservation. More than seven-in-ten American voters agree that “even with federal budget problems, funding to safeguard land, air, and water should not be cut.”

In addition, 85 percent of American voters think their Member of Congress should honor the commitment to fund conservation through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF is the nation’s premier resource for conservation, and it is funded entirely by non-taxpayer dollars.

“I am struck by how many of my favorite places have been protected by this program every time I go hiking or even just visit nearby parks,” said Hannah Clark, the Coalition’s LWCF Campaign Director. “This poll echoes what the Coalition hears from Washingtonians every day: that investing in our outdoors makes strong sense for our communities, economy and quality of life.”

In the past, LWCF has funded iconic places like Mt. Rainier and Mt. St Helens and many of our state’s wildlife refuges enjoyed by hunters and wildlife watchers alike. However, our outdoors face imminent threats.

Recently, the House of Representatives proposed eliminating LWCF funding entirely this year. If passed into law, this would effectively eliminate LWCF, causing infrastructure to lapse and leaving program staff without funding.

Locally, this would mean no funding for a critical segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, Bothell could lose a significant piece of its last urban forest, and Tacoma would be unable to complete the trail at Point Defiance.

But it doesn’t stop there. Hundreds of projects across the country would go unfunded as well. 

See how Americans view conservation in the complete poll results. (PDF)

Read about threats to LWCF and learn how you can help.