A Mandate To Protect America's Wilderness

Surveys of public opinion taken over the past four years by commercial polling firms and the media--and by the federal government itself—consistently find that the American people treasure the heritage of wilderness on their public lands.

The American people want to see more of their federal lands preserved as wilderness—consistently and by wide margins.

This report is based on a comprehensive review of public opinion polls concerning wilderness taken in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. In this first review of its kind, we sought to include all credible polling touching on wilderness. The support for preserving wilderness—and more of it—is highly consistent through them all. The findings of polls by commercial firms and the media are confirmed by academic surveys and, most notably, in intensive polling done by the U.S. government.

Media Contact

Susan Whitmore

Director, Communications


Related Experts

Mike Matz

Mike Matz joined Pew in 2010 when the Campaign for America's Wilderness became part of the Pew Charitable Trusts. As the director, Matz works to protect the nation's remaining wild lands to ensure an enduring legacy of wilderness for future generations.Before joining Pew, he headed the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance in Salt Lake City, where he spearheaded the successful effort to establish, through presidential order, the 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Matz spent six years with the Sierra Club, four of those as a director of its public lands program in Washington, D.C. For four years he was chairman of the Alaska Coalition, and he also worked as associate director of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center.Matz also helped found the Alaska Wilderness League and has served on their board. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Carleton College. View Profile