If you link to the report of the pollsters, you will see that these results for the most part hold across party affiliation and demographic groups.
The poll results are puzzling, however, in that they seem so out of line with recent actions by Congress. A good example is the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which provides funding for the creation of national, state and local parks, wildlife refuges and forests — the kinds of places Americans visit on the Fourth of July.
Recently, the House of Representatives deleted from the Transportation Bill a provision that would provide two years of certain funding for the LWCF. And the House Appropriations Committee cut the President’s proposed funding of LWCF for FY 2013 by 80 percent along with deep cuts to other natural resource programs.
And yet, in a specific poll question about LWCF more than four-in-five American voters (82 percent) support ensuring that a “portion of federal offshore drilling fees already being paid by oil and gas companies is dedicated to LWCF, which was created by Congress so that these fees could be used for conserving natural areas, wildlife, and clean water and providing access to outdoor recreation throughout the country.”
In response to this seemingly stark contrast between government actions and voter views, Mark Tercek, President of The Nature Conservancy said, “Given these poll results, we are deeply concerned that public conservation policy in our country today is departing from America’s bipartisan conservation tradition and does not reflect the current thinking of Americans across the political spectrum. In particular, the idea that there is inevitably a conflict between our economy and our environment is not borne out by popular views. The vast majority of Americans value the many ways nature benefits them and their communities — just as strongly as they always have.”
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