Press Release Nov 8, 2023

New Poll Shows United Support for National Park Wildlife

"This data reflects that Americans are united in actions to conserve – not threaten – these species" -- NPCA President and CEO Theresa Pierno

New polling shows that Americans are united in the belief that more needs to be done to safeguard national park wildlife. The poll, released by the National Parks Conservation Association, examined park wildlife threats and opportunities related to climate change, development, wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity, ocean plastics and overfishing, the Endangered Species Act, air pollution, and a sampling of species-specific issues. All topics examined in the poll also relate to current processes and opportunities under consideration by the Biden administration and Congress.

The poll was conducted online by The Harris Poll, on behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association, between June 20-22, 2023, among 2,037 U.S. adults over 18 years of age.

Broadly, the polling found that most Americans (85% of Republicans, 91% of Democrats) believe more needs to be done to protect national park wildlife. Other key findings include:

  • More than 4 in 5 Americans (86%) (including 87% of Democrats, and 84% of Republicans) support federal agency efforts to continue recovery of threatened and endangered species.
  • 92% of Americans support reducing water pollution to better protect marine wildlife.
  • 87% of Americans support restoring or preserving wildlife habitat connectivity and migration corridors.
  • 74% of Republicans, 89% of Democrats, and 85% of Independents believe climate change is harmful to national park wildlife.
  • 89% of Americans agree that more needs to be done to ensure federal, state, and tribal governments work in partnership to restore, maintain, or protect national park wildlife populations.  
  • Nearly 9 in 10 Americans (88%) feel more needs to be done to protect birds and pollinators from harmful air pollution.

“This united support for protecting park wildlife should serve as a call to action for policymakers in DC and in communities across the country,“ said National Parks Conservation Association President and CEO Theresa Pierno. "Investing in the future of national park wildlife has far-reaching benefits including protecting clean drinking water, supporting made-in-America jobs, and maintaining connected landscapes.

“The Biden administration will soon make crucial decisions impacting the future of Yellowstone bison, Western Arctic Caribou in Gates of the Arctic, and grizzly bear restoration at North Cascades. This data reflects that Americans are united in actions to conserve – not threaten – these species.”

The poll also showed that Americans are unified in support for species-specific conservation efforts that could be impacted by decisions Congress and the Biden administration are weighing.

  • 91% of Americans support restoring healthy bison herds in Yellowstone and other national parks. The National Park Service is currently considering a plan that will determine the future of bison management at Yellowstone.
  • 87% of Americans support protecting wildlife such as caribou in national park lands in northwest Alaskan from mining development threats. The administration is currently completing a review of the proposed 210-mile Ambler mining road that would slice through Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and threatens the Western Arctic Caribou herd.
  • 85% of Americans support restoring grizzly bear populations back to their historic habitat in North Cascades National Park in northern WA state. The administration is currently exploring opportunities to restore the species to the parks and some members of Congress have proposed to defund the effort.

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