I ran across this report of a survey done by NASF which I thought was interesting.
Here’s the survey.
Given these factors, seven out of ten voters support maintaining or increasing efforts to protect forests and trees in their state. Among the key specific findings of the poll are the following:
• Voters continue to value the nation’s forests highly, particularly as sources of clean air and water and places for wildlife to live. The survey found most voters are personally familiar with the nation’s forests: two-thirds of voters (67%) say they live within ten miles of a forest or wooded area. Voters also report engaging in various recreational activities that may bring them to forests. These include: viewing wildlife (71% of voters say they do this “frequently” or “occasionally”), hiking on outdoor trails (48%), fishing (43%), overnight camping (38%), hunting (22%), using off-road vehicles (16%), snow-shoeing or cross-country-skiing (15%), and mountain biking (14%).
Taking all of this into account, it should be no surprise that voters value the many benefits forests provide. As shown in Figure 1, 92 percent of voters surveyed believe that helping to keep the air clean is at least a “very” important benefit of forests, including 58 percent who believe it is “extremely” important. A nearly identical 91% of voters assign similar importance to forests’ role in filtering water to keep it clean. Solid majorities of voters found other benefits of forests to be “very important” as well, including providing a place for wildlife to live (86%), providing a source of good-paying jobs (73%), supplying products like wood and paper (73%), providing a place for recreation (71%), and reducing global warming (60%).
Appreciation of the economic benefits of forests has increased sharply in recent years. Most likely due to the economic downturn, voters appear to have a more acute awareness of the good-paying type of jobs provided by forests. Only 47 percent of voters considered this to be an “extremely” or “very” important benefit of forests in a 2007 national survey, a proportion which rose to 73 percent this year. There were also gains in the proportions viewing it as important that forests supply essential products and provide a place for recreation.
• At least three in five voters see major threats to forests from wildfire, development, and insects and diseases. American voters recognize that the nation’s forests face a variety of significant threats. As shown in Figure 2, 73 percent of all voters consider wildfires to be a “major” threat to forests. Three in five voters believe the same about insects and diseases that harm trees (62%) and development (62%).
Three-quarters of voters want to see efforts to protect and manage forests maintained or increased. In total (as shown in Figure 3), 74 percent of voters say they are comfortable with the current level of forest management and protection, including 41 percent who say it needs to be increased.
The figures included are interesting but I couldn’t transfer them to this post.