New Polling Data Underscores Public Support for Endangered Species Protections

New Polling Data Underscores Public Support for Endangered Species Protections

By Western Watersheds Project

WASHINGTON – The American public supports the continued protection of endangered species and worries that the new Congress will undermine these majority values, according to a new poll of American voters conducted in the wake of the 2016 election that was released today by the Center for American Progress.

According to the poll results, 70% of voters opposed policy initiatives to target iconic species like the gray wolf or greater sage-grouse for removal from protection under the Endangered Species Act, compared with only 22% of poll respondents who supported such initiatives. This ranks legislative efforts to gut the Endangered Species Act second in unpopularity only to the sell-off of federal public lands among environment-related initiatives opposed by the American public.

“Clearly, the public isn’t buying the anti-endangered-species rhetoric that is being peddled by the industries that stand to profit from gutting protections for endangered wildlife,” said Erik Molvar of Western Watersheds Project. “Protecting our native wildlife, and preventing the irresponsible land uses that cause the extinction of rare native species, continues to be a core American value.”

Fine-scale tabulations from the polling reveal that public opposition to dismantling protections for at-risk wildlife cuts across party lines, with majority opposition in every voter category. Some 75% of swing voters opposed dismantling protections for at-risk wildlife, compared to 81% of Clinton voters and 55% of Trump voters.  Some 65% of voters expressed concern that the policies of President-elect Trump and the GOP Congress would result in increased extinctions and weaker wildlife protections, with 55% of voters rating this a “very big concern.”

“Already the new Congress is stepping up attacks on the Endangered Species Act with bills that would strip protections for species that are clearly on the brink of extinction based on the science,” said Molvar. “In contrast, American people clearly want to protect our native plants and animals, signaling that the new administration and Congress need to stand up for wildlife protections as well.”




  1. Kyle Avatar

    Thanks Ralph, in fact public polls show little support for any Republican ideas related to the public lands. There is no mandate for any of the underhanded legislation/rules already passed or in the works. Those who support the transfer of the public domain have virtually no public support they can point to for their agenda. It’s all talk and talking points.

    Nevertheless, the GOP is going to attempt to force through a poisoned package which will only create more damage and mismanagement going forward, and ultimately restrict public access to the public domain.

    The GOP has a window of opportunity that will change public lands forever. We simply cannot allow this to happen.

    It’s entirely possible that the GOP approach is going to motivate a home grown radicalism that will push back against corporate domination. The public doesn’t support any of it, and there are likely to be radical elements that emerge to fight back against illegitimate policy.

  2. Lorraine cardosi Avatar
    Lorraine cardosi

    Please continue to protect these beautiful wolves, they deserve protection…

  3. Yvette Avatar

    The pessimistic me feels it does not matter in Trump’s ‘alternate facts’ universe. Green is blue; Blue is red; Red is yellow. Their world is a world full of brainwashing techniques in action.

    The optimistic me says small groups of people are meeting across the nation (in person not just online) to strategize and map a way forward to immobilize the evil orange one. We will deter and slow the republican agenda.

    Sunday, one in my small groups drove over 2 hours to meet in person with us. Resistance is happening.

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