Press Release Jul 1, 2010

New Poll Finds Overwhelming Support for America's Great Outdoors Initiative and National Parks

American voters say national parks are vital to conserving public lands, wildlife, and our national heritage

Washington, D.C. – A public opinion poll commissioned by the nation’s leading voice for our national parks, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), today reveals overwhelming support from American voters for President Obama’s new initiative to preserve “America’s Great Outdoors.” According to the poll, 84 percent of those surveyed support the initiative and 77 percent of voters say national parks should play a highly prominent role in the effort.

“This poll makes it clear that the American public recognizes the importance of protecting our great outdoors and the central role national parks can play in preserving them,” said Craig Obey, NPCA senior vice president of government affairs.

As senior Administration representatives tour the country to hear from the American public, a telephone survey asked voters questions related to America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) and their support for addressing the challenges facing our public lands, wildlife, and national heritage. The poll indicates that voters are concerned that our seashores, rivers, lakes, and streams are becoming polluted (81 percent), and that Americans, especially children, are spending less time outdoors (80 percent).

The poll found significant support for our national parks across party lines, with most voters believing national parks are vital to this new plan. Findings indicate that the majority of voters feel national parks can help children and families lead healthier lives and better connect them to the outdoors. And 77 percent of the voters support efforts to grow the National Park System to more fully represent the history and culture of our diversifying nation.

Importantly, we continue to see an increase in support for fully funding and restoring our national parks in time for their centennial in 2016. Since previous polls conducted in 2008 and 2009, results indicate the highest number of support thus far. Sixty-nine percent of voters say it is extremely important for the federal government to protect and support national parks like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and America’s Everglades—despite the current economic situation and concerns about the federal budget.

Voters in the national poll believe elements of AGO are important, including that communities are uniting to protect the places they love (71 percent); the need to reconnect Americans, especially children, to the great outdoors (79 percent); and support for existing programs and projects that educate and engage Americans in our history and culture (71 percent). In efforts to put meaningful funding behind programs that protect land, 81 percent of the voters believe the $17 billion that has accumulated during the past several decades in the Land and Water Conservation Fund should be spent as originally promised to protect parks, seashores, forests, and waterways across the country.

The poll was conducted by Hart Research Associates from June 2-5, 2010.  A total of 803 registered voters were interviewed for the nationwide study conducted by telephone.  To view the poll click here.

Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. NPCA, its 325,000 members, and many partners work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come.


About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit

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