Chamberlain Research Consultants conducted a survey of 600 Wisconsin residents between March 17 and March 23, 2000 to gauge their opinions on the future of national and state forest lands. Interviews were conducted by telephone using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) software. The survey used random quota sampling by county to ensure adequate representation of the entire state. The largest margin of error for any question is ± 3.97 at the 95% confidence level.
The proposed roadless protection plan- a plan meant to protect national wild and unprotected areas- received overwhelming support among Wisconsin residents. Overall, 83.2% of all respondents favored this proposal, with 56% saying that they strongly favored it. Conversely, only 11.5% of respondents were opposed to this plan.
Support was even stronger for preserving national forest lands in Wisconsin, as 88.3% of respondents favored the proposal, with 62.8% saying that they strongly favored it. Further, only 7.4% of respondents were opposed to this proposal.
Considering the unbiased nature of the survey questions and the high validity of the sampling procedure, there is extremely strong evidence that the residents of Wisconsin are strongly in favor of the roadless area protection plan
Respondents identifying themselves as liberals or Democrats showed more support for the roadless area protection plan than those identifying themselves as conservatives or Republicans. Further, respondents opposed to the plan tended to be male.
Respondents were asked whether they favored or opposed logging, mining, and other industrial activities on National Forest lands, in general. Most respondents were opposed to these activities on National Forest lands, with 65.6% of respondents saying that they were opposed to them, while only 25% of respondents supported them. Ten percent of respondents were not sure how they felt.
When asked about the amount of protected land in the United States, 66% of respondents stated that there is not enough protected land, while only 2.8% of respondents stated that there is too much protected land. Another 24.2% of respondents felt that the United States currently has adequate amounts of protected lands.
Results were more dramatic when respondents were asked about the amount of protected land in the state of Wisconsin. Overall, 73.5% of respondents felt that there is not enough protected land, while only 2.0% of respondents felt that there is too much. Another 19.7% of respondents felt that there are currently adequate amounts of protected lands in Wisconsin.
Slight regional differences were also observed. For instance, when asked whether they favored or opposed the roadless area protection plan, 95.9% of Madison respondents favored the plan, while 72% of residents in the South West region of the state favored it. All other regions fell in between these two points. Thus, while there is some variation in terms of support of the plan, overall, all regions demonstrate very strong support for it.
Regional differences are not as dramatic in terms of protecting Wisconsin's forest lands. Once again, Madison demonstrated the strongest support as 95.9% of Madison respondents favored the plan, while the South West demonstrated the weakest support as 84% of respondents in this region favored it.
Further, it should be noted that these regional differences are less reliable as data due to the smaller sample sizes when comparing regions. The best statistical proof for support of the plan comes from looking at all the regions together.
Chamberlain Research Consultants is an international opinion and marketing research firm, based in Madison, Wisconsin. The company specializes in business-to-business, consumer and public policy research.