Public Lands Are A Priority For Voters of Color

Aug 24, 2016

Photo from the National Park Service website.

The National Park Service turns 100 tomorrow. And in a recent national poll, voters of color indicate protecting public lands should be a federal priority. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explains.

More than 90 percent of minorities responded that they want the next president to protect public lands. Anthony Williams is a pollster with Bendixen and Amandi International. He says survey results contradict a common stereotype.  

“The implication has been, well, these minorities simply aren’t engaged or interested in these types of activities and that couldn’t be further from the truth," Williams explains. "Seventy percent of the voters that we surveyed are already engaged in the types of outdoor activities commonly offered within national public lands, whether it be hiking, camping, fishing, visiting nation historic sites, outdoor photography, etc.”

Williams says the centennial celebration is a good time to step up outreach.

“This is the perfect opportunity," Williams say, "for the White House to issue a presidential memorandum to direct federal agencies to be more proactive in the way they outreach communities of color.”

Williams explains that right now there is a lack of knowledge and information about the distance and costs of visiting national parks, preventing more minorities from participating.