Survey shows outdoorsmen are environmentalists

out parkviewA new national poll released last month shows sportsmen prioritize protecting public lands above energy production. The poll conducted for the National Wildlife Federation shows threats to America’s conservation heritage are priority issues for sportsmen, on par with gun rights.

“The strong poll results show we need to get conservation on all candidates’ agendas,” said Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. “From county races to state and federal ones, now is the time to talk about our favorite issues, ranging from clean air to clean water to all of the hunting and fishing issues.’’ 

Among the poll’s key findings: 

• 79 percent of those polled say the government should restore Clean Water Act protections to wetlands and waterways, including smaller creeks and streams.

• Two in three sportsmen polled believe the country has a moral responsibility to confront global warming.

A recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hunter and angler survey shows that sportsmen and wildlife enthusiasts contribute $3.3 billion annually to North Carolina’s economy. 

“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.”

The national public opinion poll was conducted among 800 self-identified hunters and anglers by Chesapeake Beach Consulting from Aug. 27 through Sept. 1 for the National Wildlife Federation.   

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