Poll: More weigh costs vs. environment

OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK

September 12, 1993|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Staff Writer

The second annual Times-Mirror Magazines National Environmental Forum Survey has found the American public "is increasingly keeping its eye on economic concerns when weighing them against environmental ones."

According to the survey of 1,005 adults by The Roper Organization, 55 percent of Americans believe that cost should be considered before policies of the 1972 Endangered Species Act are enforced, an increase of 5 percent over the findings in the initial survey.

The percentage of people who feel that all endangered species should be protected, regardless of the cost, was found to be 35 percent, as it had been in the first survey.

The number of Americans who feel that environmental protection and economic development can proceed jointly rose five points to 68 percent.

Overall, the survey found, conservation and not preservation defines the public's approach to environmental protection, with three-quarters of Americans feeling that natural resources and wildlife can be protected while also being used for economic and public benefit.

"The public is becoming increasingly pragmatic in its stance on environmental issues," said Edward B. Keller, executive vice president of The Roper Organization. "This is signified by both the public's adherence to a conservationist philosophy and its belief that we can successfully balance our environmental and economic objectives.

"Americans want environmental protection, but not at any cost."

Among other findings by the survey, which has a plus or minus 4 percent margin of error, are:

* Twenty-one percent of Americans say they have done environmental volunteer work in the past two years, and 57 percent of those people say they have done so more than once a month.

* Nationwide, only 38 percent of Americans are aware of local opportunities for environmental volunteer work, suggesting that the creation of programs is a key to activism.

* 48 percent are satisfied with the Clinton Administration's environmental policies; 26 percent are dissatisfied.

* Nearly one quarter (23 percent) of Americans have voted for a candidate based on his/her environmental position, up from 18 percent.

* 56 percent disagree that taxes should be increased with funding targeted to environmental programs, down 5 percent from 1992. But 59 percent agree that government spending should be shifted to support environmental programs.

Goose seasons

Maryland recently proposed a compromise, 35-day hunting season for Canada geese, but Pennsylvania, with the largest group of waterfowl hunters in the Atlantic Flyway, has proposed a three-split season in its South Zone, which includes all counties bordering Maryland.

Season dates and limits are: Oct. 18-25, one bird per day; Nov. 17-Dec. 31, two per day; Jan. 1-17, three per day.

Maine also has proposed its seasons for Canada geese, running from Oct. 4 to Dec. 11, with two birds per day allowed after Oct. 15.

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