People don't like roadless forests
snowangel at my-deja.com
snowangel at my-deja.com
Fri Feb 18 17:08:51 EST 2000
In article <9bdf81bd&188.8.131.5200217100907.569ffd8a at pop2.igc.org>,
wafcdc at americanlands.org wrote:
> From: "wafcdc at americanlands.org" <wafcdc at americanlands.org>
> Subject: Senators Urge Clinton To Stand Firm in Protecting National
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 17, 2000
> Contact: Steve Holmer, 202/547-9105
> Senators Urge Clinton To Stand Firm in Protecting National Forests
People don't like
New survey on Clinton plan
for wilderness protectionism
By Stephan Archer
© 1999 WorldNetDaily.com
A recent poll taken by a non-profit
organization shows a majority of respondents
oppose the Clinton administration's recent
proposal to set aside 40 million acres to be
designated as "roadless" area, contradicting
earlier data gathered by the Mellman Group,
which indicated a majority of the public would
support the White House proposal.
The Paragon Foundation, a public education,
constitutional rights organization in
Alamogordo, N.M., conducted its poll to "give
the average rank-and-file American a chance to
vote." The poll was conducted by publishing a
questionnaire nationwide in newspapers,
magazines and on the Internet. Respondents
either clipped out the survey and mailed it to
the foundation or participated in the poll via
the group's website.
In the counting process, which was open to the
public and conducted by volunteers, 2,229
people responded to the Paragon Poll. Jay
Walley, public relations director for the
foundation, said the poll had a margin of error
of plus or minus 2 percent.
In the poll, an overwhelming 68 percent of the
respondents said protecting jobs, communities
and industries that depend on public lands
was more important than protecting land from
commercial use. Thirty percent thought public
lands should be protected from commercial
use while two percent were undecided.
Another 68 percent thought that building roads
on public lands should be allowed while 67
percent thought the United States had enough
protected wilderness. Only 27 percent and 30
percent said "no" to both questions
respectively with a small contingency being
These survey results sharply contradict the
earlier Mellman poll paid for by the Pew
Charitable Trust and commissioned by the
Heritage Forests Campaign, The Wilderness
Society and The National Audubon Society. In
the Mellman poll, 63 percent of the
respondents thought not enough of the nation's
forests were protected, and 74 percent of them
would support a plan that would not exempt
any national forests from a roadless protection
The Wilderness society noted that the Mellman
poll, conducted in June of this year, was an
important factor in persuading the Clinton
administration to announce the roadless area
plan last Wednesday while speaking before an
audience in the George Washington and
Jefferson National Forest in Virginia.
Explaining his roadless protection policy to his
listeners, Clinton had said, "Through this
action, we will protect more than 40 million
acres, 20 percent of the total forest land in
America in the national forests from activities,
such as new road construction, which would
degrade the land."
During the speech, Clinton boasted that his
administration has now protected more land
than any other administration in the history of
the country except those of Franklin and
Theodore Roosevelt. He also took the
opportunity to announce a second proposal -- a
$1 billion Lands Legacy Initiative, which
would guarantee permanent funding over the
years for continued protection and restoration
of public lands throughout the nation.
Although 40 million acres could be set aside as
"roadless" areas, George Frampton, chairman
of the President's Council on Environmental
Quality, said the day after Clinton's
announcement that a potential "50 or 55 million
acres of roadless area on the national forests
nationwide could be protected."
Although admitting that his foundation's poll
was timely, Walley said the poll was not
"We did not know at the time that Clinton was
going to announce his roadless area plan,"
Walley said. "It just so happened we were
compiling our results when that statement
came out, so it was just a really timely
Walley told WorldNetDaily his group wanted
to do the poll because it believes those
working in the resource-based industries
weren't well represented in the Mellman poll.
The group also did the poll, Walley said,
because, in the foundation's view, the Mellman
poll was flawed.
"We considered the poll flawed because of the
fact of who paid for it," Mellman said.
Even though Walley said the foundation's poll
was not a response to the president's proposal
but rather a response to the Mellman poll, a
timely question regarding Clinton's proposal
"Would you favor a proposal that permanently
protects all roadless areas of 1,000 acres or
greater on public lands?" asked one of the
Only 29 percent of the respondents said "yes"
to this question, while 69 percent said "no."
Other questions asked in the Paragon poll
were related to the possibility of prohibitions
in wilderness areas including use of off-road
vehicles, oil and mineral exploration, logging,
and livestock grazing. For each question,
respondents decisively opposed any
prohibition in public wilderness areas.
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