Idaho Reports; Seiberling and Idaho Wilderness
God. Funding for Idaho reports is provided by the Friends of four 10 and 12. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by a grant from the laurel Moore coming ham Foundation a key member of Congress got a firsthand look at some Idaho back country this week.
And he also got a lot of advice on what land should get official blessing as wilderness. Tonight what John Cyberlink visit means to the continuing struggle over Idaho's roadless lands.
Good evening. Ohio Congressman John Syed really wound up a five day tour of Idaho back country today reiterating his support for a substantial amount of additional wilderness in Idaho. The 65 year old Akron Democrat chairs the House Subcommittee on public lands and he is expected to play a major role in drafting that body's version of an Idaho wilderness bill a version sponsored by the Senate by the state's were all Republican delegation designating five hundred twenty six thousand additional acres has already passed the Senate. But that number is likely to be increased significantly in the house. If a compromise cannot be reached cybering toward more than 20 proposed wilderness sites during his five day visit he'll wind things up tonight at a reception hosted by Democratic Governor John Evans. Tonight we'll look at what advice Cyberlink got during his stay here and what his involvement is likely to mean to the eventual shape of wilderness in Idaho. We begin with reports from producers and Summerall and Gary Richardson Summerall was with Cyberlink in the Kelley Creek area of northern Idaho on Saturday. Richardson caught up with him today in the Boise National Forest.
70 percent of the American people. Favor protecting that euro area. You are missing parts of the site. This land belongs to them. And their few to their descendants.
And I personally feel a very strong obligation to do what I can to recognize their interests too.
Well we obviously have to try to reach a compromise between not just the people and I know I wish we could make our decision ourselves. But it's very obvious in the Congress of the United States today that people that live in Idaho have an interest in what happens here and they're going to tell us what to do.
Concerned Citizens waited at the Cobb Creek landing strip for chairman Cyberlink to discuss their proposed wilderness lands designation an aerial view of the Clearwater National Forest and a trail tour enhanced representative Cyberlink background. But he wanted to know more specifics.
I've been doing this for many many years now and I could write the script and just leave blanks for the names and figures and fill them in each place I go I'm familiar with all of the basic arguments pro and con. But what helps me is when I hear specific information. This drainage is how it will impact a particular mill how it will destroy a particular stream if we lost it. That's the kind of specific information that you get by going around looking and listening after a presentation by the Fish and Game Department a discussion ensued.
Most were pleased with the meeting but others felt some issues were overlooked.
Landing here today. To him this is a beautiful part of our state. It's to all of us the beautiful part that really this place is finding. To me this is developed.
I mean it's not wilderness so he really hasn't gotten into the real wilderness of Idaho that we're talking about for public officials who are the decision maker is the best thing that could happen to us if we could just to grace the acreage figures because that becomes the most controversial. It is 500000 acres at one point to one point eighty three point eight.
What we want to do is look at the areas and look at the industries involved try to protect some of these pristine areas most of the participants felt that the report by Chairman Cyberlink would favor more wilderness than the proposed amount by Senator McClure or governor Adams.
Well I think without a doubt Congressman King is going to feel it more acreage should be included than is now a congressional delegation.
I'm confident I think that pretty much all of the world deserves to is not going to support the delegations. I don't know what he might recommend but I think we'll see a proposal by Chairman. Much in excess of any reasonable amount the majority of Idahoans would support.
I don't think he will go for so much from a Clippers five hundred plus thousand acre proposal. I think more towards what the governor would propose.
I couldn't second guess what he will do but I will say that we appreciate him coming here taking such an interest in it and we found him very open minded and sympathetic toward. Viewing Idaho. In a more diverse manner not just as a timber state.
He's going to favor because he doesn't understand what multiple years is going to have to have and is going to have it going to make. I mean if he feels comfortable with. I think that's what I really long with.
I can't yet tell I know that Congressman Cyberlink has talked more about the governor's proposal. I would certainly hope that. He will look at the delegations proposal as a baseline and the governor's proposal as a ceiling and then we can work the compromise in between.
If he strives for a much larger bill than the governor's proposal then I don't think we'll have a bill in this Congress because it will be impossible for the delegation to accept and I think a strong majority of the people of Idaho today on the final leg of his trip Congressman Soderling flew over parts of the Boise in the Sawtooth National Forests when they landed here at Alexander flat on the Middle Fork of the Boise River where they had lunch. I want to Jack Trueblood wife and son of the late writer and outdoorsman Ted Trueblood told Cyberlink of their concerns.
They're about two miles is a camp that my dad started using in 1931 and we camped there almost every year since camp with him there since 1931 it's got something that she would like to present.
Head hunting Treasury certainly well and I specially enjoy having it from you.
And it's got a nice little message in it in memory of Ted Trueblood and signed Ellen True Blood True Blood on the bed and one of us wanted to stay the same for a long long time.
But there's such an increase now an off road vehicle use that it's important to put boundaries around things and keep from having erosion marks in the hillside. It's not a red area. We're not trying to take away any timber at this spot. There are no. Actively heavy producing mining claims in it.
But it's fragile soil and any kind of erosion will just but you can see any thing you do up that disturbs those ads and they're going to start coming right down into the river and they're Bye-Bye trout stream and soon they're caught in this dream. You can't cut that tree those trees without having a one shot harvest because you'll never get them to grow again to come back and there aren't enough there to make it economically feasible. Power out the taxpayers and pay for it. Cut anything inside.
Jim Johnson who runs a mountain home timber company saw it a little differently.
Her small boy about 35 people were concerned about managing the forests where we've been. We want to do it a proper job of managing it and we feel that some of these folks right here shouldn't be touched we're not you know we're not out that way. But to hear you say that I worked very hard for some bonus areas when I was up north. Senator Church on the perimeter. And did a lot of work on this. We're not opposed to it just like to know what we can do like to manage it properly.
Well I think that's a very important point.
Until these issues are settled people can't make any plans business can make. Everything's up in the air and I've been pushing now for five years to get the rare two issue behind us so that we can start to make some progress on those areas.
I asked the Congressman what do you learned in the last five days flying over Idaho.
Each day I thought well this has to be it we've just seen the best and tomorrow's can't possibly be as good and each day it's been as spectacular and as beautiful as the preceding one. I've learned that Idaho is blessed with some magnificent scenery most of the Eastern States would give their eye teeth to have just one of your mountain ranges. And those are important economic assets. Those will attract industry to this community in this state because industry today and in particular high tech industries like Hewlett-Packard located in Boise ran to go over their people going to experience living and wilderness and National Parks because that's what people want.
Today Congressman sidling returns to Washington tomorrow. Republican congressman Larry Craig will join us in a few moments has predicted that the house interior committee will report a bill to the full House by early August. As you saw on the videotape cybering found no lack of advice during his visit to Idaho although timber industry lobbyists clearly felt that they were waging an uphill battle selling him their point of view. Joe Henson is the director of the Idaho forest industry Council and the cochairman of the Alliance for resource and Recreation Management a newly formed organization dedicated to lobbying for the congressional delegations. Half a million acre proposal. Mr. Hansen did Congressman side really listen to you.
I think you heard I'm not sure how much he listened. I think he he looked a lot I'm not sure how much he saw. My impression was he was surrounded by people that told him what they perceived he wanted to hear and showed to him what they perceived he wanted to say really by people the meaning of what. What more of the pro wilderness folks than folks in the timber industry for example. He. Did have breakfast with industry folks in St. Mary's That was more than offset by at least three perhaps four Private get togethers with various environmental groups and the stops were also weighed heavily toward the pro wilderness viewpoints I think you heard Senator McClure say on the tape that he wished that we buy that Im sure he meant Idahoans could make this decision.
Here do you subscribe to that.
I subscribe to it I don't dispute the notion that these lands belong to all Americans. But the distinction that you have to make isn't only Idahoans earn their livings from from these lands and that's a very important distinction and I do feel that that distinction was lost upon Germans I believe.
So Idahoans ought to have what more than I have awaited awaited influence in the issue.
I think so and I think if you go back into the history of the establishment of the national forest and you go back to the various acts of the sought to treat the national forest in one way or another you will find a common thread that relates to the dependency of the local communities on the public lands.
I think you overlook that some people say this is it as a rather unusual pattern the involvement of Congress and Cyberlink although that's not a unanimous view. Why do you think you chose to get involved in Idaho's wilderness issue.
Well I think the national environmental groups asked him to they have elevated this issue to the. To the Alaska land status which was a major battle of a couple years ago and right now they are spending enormous amounts of money in advertising and publications to sell their viewpoints on a lot whole wilderness bill.
What do you think's going to be the ultimate impact of his visit here any.
Yes I think he's going to go back and I think he's going to unleash a corker of a bill and he's going to do it under the guise that he has been here and he has heard people and he has seen the areas use his visit as a justification for a bill that is probably much larger than most people in Idaho could support.
So despite his talk of the need for a compromise you don't see that as as likely. I think we view compromise in two different ways. Finally let me ask you about a related but not directly related development. There's been some confusion over the governor Evans position whether his 1.2 million proposed acres is a target or a ceiling to use the words that have been used. What's your current understanding of where the governor stands. I am just as confused as anyone.
About a month ago about eight people from the timber industry met with the governor for lunch in Sandpoint and he personally very clearly told us that his 1.2 million acre proposal was a maximum the same the same thing that his aide Paul Cunningham told a congressional hearing that's exactly right. In fact we discussed it for a while and I made the point to Paul then that it would be very helpful if the governor would make that clear during the upcoming hearings. He says now he doesn't understand how you could have understood him to say that I don't understand how he could not understand why I would get that impression.
It was very clear very clear. Thank you we'll come back in just a moment.
Environmentalists and sportsmen prepared perhaps somewhat better with the Ohio congressman. He has called Governor John Evans proposal for one point two million acres a much better starting point than the delegation's proposal. Ron Mitchell is an outdoor writer and an avid sportsman. He is the Natural Resources Chairman for the Idaho sportsman's coalition an organization that supports wilderness designation for just under three million acres. Rachel first of all am I right in assuming that you're generally pleased with Mr. Simonds visit.
Oh yes we are. We were in a year precarious position as a sportsman. The delegation come out with a bill which is going to open up 88 percent of critical wildlife habitat as identified by the Fish and Game Department. And that was that was going to be opened up for development and we went to San McClure in a private meeting and asked what changes bill and I wouldn't do that and went to Washington and made an appeal to congressmen other states there. And they said they really couldn't help us with them and that they were sympathetic but they took the lead from Cyberlink and then we appealed a cybering and he said well I am sympathetic and I will look into it. And but he couldn't give us a definite commitment as to when I come out here and then thank goodness. Governor Evans mentioned a siren that things were confused out here and perhaps you ought to come out and see firsthand and do a careful analysis before any legislation was carried out. So it looks like we're going to save some of those acres that were put up on the auction block.
So you really please with your credit both national the national environmental groups Mr. Hansen mentioned and also the governor.
Well the governor asked him to come back here but that one of the main reasons that he said it would come back was because of overwhelming support in Idaho from Idaho as he received over a thousand letters that were in favor of preserving protecting these areas. And that's more letters and that he's received on any bill since the Alaska lands bill. And we reassured him that when he came out here you would find Lance as attacker as Alaska is and a larger quantity than any place in the lower 48. So it was the overwhelming support of Idahoans that primarily brought him out here.
What about what about this contention by Senator McClure and others that it would be better if Idahoans could make this decision for themselves.
Well Idaho ones. That's one of the tragedy of the situation this is this is a dramatic political scenario that's that's uncovering here and people are asking why is John sidling here and this is kind of the culmination of a real drama in the beginning outdoorsman sportsman appeal to our I hope congressional delegation to represent us in Congress. We didn't get that representation and then we went back in and made an appeal in Washington D.C. and that thank it what's happened is that what looked like a breakdown of the federal system in which rep is look represents represent us in Congress. I was going to break down. It's actually been a vindication because these are federal lands these are this is a national issue and fact people from other States congressmen are able to help local people who are not being represented.
What's the ultimate impact more wilderness than would otherwise have if the congressman hadn't been here. Well.
John cybering is a very strong man he has a mind of his own and he acts primarily on principles on and on long term values not on short term values so he will not make a choice for it. For expediency he will give it a careful analysis. He has hinted that he has seen some areas that were not included in the center McClure's bill that he was very impressed with Long Canyon fellowman Long Canyon for one and he like to pay a crest area somewhat So it looks like there will be some more acreage. And if he looks at the recent polls France is the one taking by this television station which shows that a plurality of Idahoans want more wilderness and at the least popular wilderness proposal is centered McClure's of which only 13 percent approve. Then I think you'll probably go for increased acreage.
Just very briefly how do you understand Governor Evans position right now.
He's insisting that he didn't didn't say that it was a cap that he said it was a target and I think the important thing is that he felt that there ought to be some more areas in the state. But he was still arguing about I should ask you not to ask me to come out and see what he thought about the day Gallina situation will come back in just a moment.
The prime sponsor of the Senate bill the state's senior senator James McClure has said that he has been welcome Cyberlink visit. But other Republicans have been less sanguine. First District Congressman Larry Craig himself a member of the Interior Committee has accused the Ohio Democrat of using the issue for political gain political gain what does it gain John Cyberlink gains John cyberbullying in the end.
And it continually and with his friends Jeanne. Done sidling doesn't cough unless the national environmental community ask him to. That's his basis of support it has been historically it has not changed for John cyberbullying to change and going a different direction would not be of any political advantage for him to continue down the road that has continually put him and kept him in office. He is the political gain. Why do you think you get involved purely and simply that John cyberbullying is a very sincere man about his beliefs. He has toured in visited areas across this nation prior to them being treated legislatively as to what management course the government wish to send those lands in. I don't question his sincerity nor do I question his personal interest or involvement. They are all above you. He's a man who believes what he believes very strongly.
They ask you about one theory about why you got involved by a columnist named Steve Forrester who writes columns for some Northwest newspapers. He says essentially that I don't know does the Idaho delegation doesn't have the same clout that the Washington Oregon delegation have for instance and he essentially says that Senator McClure has some clout that you have some clout.
But that's it that you're you're because you're lonely fight. How do you react to that analysis.
That's his analysis of it based on his personal bias I think any writer that writes reflects his own bias.
You have been quoted as saying that a small but vocal minority of Idahoans is responsible for the letters to the congressman Cyberlink that. Most Idahoans don't favor more wilderness and you've been asked and said you would release the poll information which you base out what can you tell us about when you get that information.
Gene I think I am accurately and depicting the majority of the Idaho public's interests as being no more or very little additional wilderness. And I see that starting with polls that were taken clear back in 1978 through to the current time almost all of them being in the high 50s or low 60s some of them even up into the 70s saying no more wilderness I was saying no more or very little more. And I think that's a distinction because a Ron mentioned a poll a couple of minutes ago. I believe if the figures were accurate to the 42 percent said no more 7 percent said well somewhere near or about the delegations that's about 49 percent. But look at the sampling. I don't know of any pollster in this country that would say based on a million population bases we're dealing with here in Idaho in round terms that if you choose a five to six percent variable you stay under about a five hundred sampling I believe this was 360 the other polls I talk about are 500 to a survey that I took it was twenty seven thousand respondents. And what did that show. That 27000 respondents in large part. Scuse me let me correct that. Twenty three thousand respondents in a questionnaire. Questioning the question done professed by a professional pollster and sent out to all of my constituents in the district about 73 percent really didn't want any more wilderness. Now Be that as it may the question is not that we are or are not going to have it anymore. We are going to have some war based on a solution to the ready to process the question then remains.
How much how critical is it that that some agreement be reached quickly.
I think it's very critical in this session of Congress that we arrive at an agreement and I see that gene because if we fail to and there are some groups in this state who I'm sad to say are selfish enough to say if you don't agree with us then you get the will fight to have nothing. That's a very wrong point of view. We slowed down stopped or sidetracked for a time the planning process of the Forest Service which could well mean down the road by 1986 Mills standing idle and men and women out of work in this state not because of interest rates not because of a recession or any nature of the economy but because the Forest Service was not allowed to plan there for Woods and timber that is available would simply not be available.
Does the compromise have to be somewhere between the congressional delegations half a million and the governors one point two.
I would hope that it could fall somewhere in that acreage range.
Let me open this up and go back to Mr Mitchell How do you react to the idea of a compromise in that range.
I mean from the outdoors I just want to point to you. Under the governor's proposal. Well I think it's quite an adequate I think the Fish and Game Department is staffed by biologists. They have stated that it that the critical wild habitat mistake not just good not just excellent country but the critical wild happiness in this in the state is 1.8 million acres and that's considerably above the governor's proposal I think that ought to be the bottom line of what the hunters and fishermen are willing to accept in the state. After all the latest figures that are coming from the force of a show they don't have 8 million Roloson acres and just in a new talent it's come at a 9.5 and we're only talking about 4 and 5 percent of these roadless forest land so I think that's about it for the million simply wouldn't be.
Oh no that would be entirely brothers and I don't like that Madonna point of outdoorsman you know students in eight years the situation is as critical as Congressman Gregg describes it that some solution be reached this year.
Yes it is and it'll it'll be more critical as time goes on and as our markets come back which we certainly hope that they will. Some people have said that the governor said for example that while your problem is not with wilderness your problem with this is with high interest rates. That's true today but the situation that we don't want to get in is one in which the market is strong and timber supply is limited and so we still have the same economic problems that we have. We've experienced for the past several years just from a lack of available timber supply.
How likely is it do you think that your lobbying groups and others can keep the compromise number under let's say the governor's one point two figure.
Oh that's a real fuzzy crystal ball and I don't know quite how to answer that Dean will just do the job was this weekend. I don't see what I have.
OK let me ask Mr. Mitchell if he's willing to give us a theory on how likely it is that your side will be able to get the number above that one point eight. Oh no let me just about one point too about the governors.
We really don't know at this stage we're hoping for more. There are some certainly some areas that are deserving of protection but the governor is left out of his proposal and some very critical mountain goat range alum highs and Terry's question would you know some years without changing boundaries without changing numbers too. You know that's true but we we we put it like I say we started with you know with with the assumption of the right managers we should and rather than to try to play makers again we just look at the resources and we try to come out as low as we possibly could. And so if we can change boundaries and we can change numbers but we're pretty much down at the base.
Let me let We have only about 20 seconds left let me let Congressman Craig have the last word on compromise or does it go all the way to the conference committee in an all out fight.
I think we're going to try to work a compromise if we can the governor can play a key role in this by standing firm on his current position instead of waffling like he has over the last couple of weeks I hope you'll do that. So let me close by saying as we flew down over the top of the SO way better with the other day I said John John's I believe look south it was a clear day were 15000 feet I said as far as the eye can see and the mind can imagine that's all wilderness. He said Congressman I can see why you say Idahoans really don't want any more.
Thank you. Thank all of you for joining us we are very late. That's all the time we have will be back tomorrow night and good night.
Funding for Idaho reports is provided by the Friends of four 10 and 12.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by a grant from the laurel Moore coming him foundation.
The funding for this program is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the friends of four 10 and 12.
A new public opinion survey is good news for Democrat Richard Stolley in his bid to unseat incumbent Congressman George Hansen. And it reveals a citizenry split over the wilderness issue.
Good evening I'm Jane McNeil. Mark Johnson is on assignment today. Democratic challenger Richard Stallings holds about a 2 to 1 lead over incumbent Republican Congressman George Hansen. According to a survey released today by Marcet research Idaho public television and the Idaho Statesman the same poll gives incumbent Republican senator James McClure a better than two to one edge over Democratic nominee. Democratic candidate Pete Busch. The Idaho opinion survey is conducted regularly by the three sponsoring organizations. The first edition concentrated mainly on education and tax issues and it showed strong support for both more money and reform in Idaho's public schools. This time we asked respondents for their choices in the November election and we questioned them about wilderness and about the economy.
Tom Brown is the president of Mar Sept consulting and research here in Boise. His firm designed and conducted our survey and he's here with us tonight to help analyze the results.
Welcome's Brown thank you. Can you tell me. Tell us a little bit first about how you went about designing and conducting this survey.
Sure gene. Our data collection staff completed interviews by telephone during the period May 30 first through June 5th and interviews were completed among three hundred sixty Idahoans and we use 10 separate random samples to ensure that all telephone households had an equal probability of being selected. And we ended up with 49 percent men 51 percent women in the sample and based on the sample size we have what we call a tolerance or a confidence level a plus or minus three point six percentage points to 5.5 percentage points on any one question. Just elaborate for a moment on what that means. Well that means that it would the percentages would vary in those ranges if we could by chance interview.
So what percent might be as much as 3.7 percent one way or the other or in some questions 5. That's right yeah. How do you think that the survey from what you can tell matches the population pretty confident about it.
Yes I am. I think that as we get into the results we can we can see that it does accurately reflect in our view the opinion of vitamines on the political races around the world on this issue and others.
OK let's take a look at some of those results. The surveys most dramatic result came when we asked residents of the Second District who said that they were likely to vote whether they if the election were held today whether they would vote for a Republican George Hansen or Democrat Richard Stallings.
More than half about 57 percent said they would vote for the Democrat Richard Stallings roughly 26 percent said they'd vote for the incumbent Republican George Hansen and about 16 percent said they hadn't made up their minds.
That's a that's a fairly substantial difference is it not how how confident can we be about that.
Well we can be pretty confident. And let me set the stage a little bit for you as I think you mentioned likely voters only were asked the voting questions and then to the interviewing was conducted prior to Hanson's sentencing and his reprimand by the Congress congressional ethics committee.
So it was not done essentially then in the wake of something that's right.
We think there are pretty stable conditions as far as public opinion goes and our sample is sufficiently large and the preference differences is so great to allow us to say that of all possible combinations of sampling variation went in Hansen's favor we are still 95 percent certain that he trailed Stalins by at least 15 percentage points.
So even if everything every sampling error possible had occurred right that would still be that tries to be the situation that despite the fact that the number of respondents in the second district is of course smaller than the number in that in the state is that is true. What what can we say about some of the demographic breakdowns of this where Hansen strengths and weaknesses are more just all these are oh OK fine we'll Stallings strike at the time of the survey it was rather widespread.
We find that it polls 88 percent of the Democrats and partly because Democrats have an older age profile stalling strength increases significantly among middle aged and elderly Idahoans as Democrats tend to be a little older. Now that's true. And Hansen's weakness is sufficiently widespread to have eroded a major share of his Republican support. And some polls only 48 percent of the Republicans and for a reference point we can look to. How much clearer did in the Senate race and we see that he pulled 90 percent of the Republicans. So there was a bit of a real difference there. And then when we turn to religious affiliation we find that it's a dead heat among LDS voters who in fact comprise 52 percent of our second district sample in that dead heat to put them in both. Forty point five percent each. They split the vote. Right that's right. And then by region Hanson's greatest strength is in Idaho Falls where he pulls 34 percent. And this is in contrast to his extreme weakness among Ada County voters where he polled only six percent. And other minor trends give some indication that's stalling and so the polls best among men those who have above average incomes.
It's a fairly consistent strength for Hansen in most demographic groups for stalling.
I mean I'm you know scuse me. That's what I myself will get some reaction on that and come back to some other things. Congressman Hansen was not available for comment today but producer Paula whistle in Pocatello was able to talk with Hansen's challenger Stallings was cautious.
He said he would continue to run the campaign as if he were five percentage points behind. But the news clearly did make him happy.
We're very pleased with the results and I think it shows that our campaign is bearing fruit. I think it's the results of a lot of hard work on our part and the response of people who are pleased with the way we're running our campaign.
What do you think this will do for your campaign is it going to be a boost to it.
Yes obviously any evidence that you have that you're ahead helps but it won't change our strategy. We will continue to be in every county. I will be. In every parade I'll do what has to be done to to meet as many people in the second district. And I'm very pleased as I think this does show that our campaign is being well received and that I'm being perceived as a as a positive candidate.
And so I see this as a result of the approach Stallings rather than an anti-cancer as I said we were not able to talk with Hanson today but producer Garry Richardson did talk with a number of Republicans at their convention in Sun Valley most of whom defended George Johnson's political strength.
The rest of us. Right. Right you're wrong and I think that people when they get in the election.
People. Like to.
Write. Man Have a great deal of respect for the man.
And even though those numbers look very very poor.
Our survey also asked respondents throughout the state about the race for the U.S. Senate in that one the incumbent Republican James McLaurin appears to hold a very comfortable lead over challenger Pete Lewiston. Bush getting at this point only about 25 percent to McClure's 60 percent.
How do you feel about that. Of course I feel good about it but the election isn't today. The election is next November that margin is going to narrow.
How do you react and surprise many people as yet the majority the people I've been speaking to are pretty much independent thinkers. The poll was really fascinating was that 60 percent which means only about 10 percent of you could be.
We talked a moment ago about how George Hansen did with his own party which in this survey was not not terribly good how does how does John McClure do with Republicans.
Well McClure is strong in our various segments and it captures 90 percent of the Republicans and 25 percent of the Democrats. So it's a pretty fairly widespread support that presumably people would have some difficulty overcoming. That's true and I'd like to point out the McClure shows strength among groups where George Hansen and his race is showing weakness sort of that is among longtime residents and those reporting above average incomes. How about this question that was raised in the videotape about the length of time before the election.
Well that's an accurate comment. We're not trying to predict here what's going to happen in November. What we're doing is taking a snapshot if you will of how public opinion sentiment was in the first edition.
So we intend we might point out to to try this again in November when it is much closer. That's a person. And that will be measuring a different kind of thing. Yes. Let's go on to a couple of final political results before we move on to some other issues too probably no one's surprise Idahoans in the survey gave President Reagan a strong edge over Democrat a probable Democratic challenger Walter Mondale. The president getting the nod from almost two thirds of our sample and respondents rated Democratic governor John Evan somewhat higher than they did in our initial survey in January.
His 12 percent to 12 percent now rating his performance as very good and 40 percent as good.
Maybe it's the summer time of course when the legislature in session we have a combatant role. We're we're trying to achieve some goals and programs that we've developed. There's obviously some reactions and criticism constantly. I think it has a tendency to lower your ratings and you know pretty good analysis.
I think that the higher rating for the governor or an large measure rather than do to perhaps lower visibility during the season when the legislature is not in town anything outstanding about that was not really his strength in southern Idaho especially southeastern Idaho that's nothing new I don't think.
Ken one thing is that there is more polarization among those who are in the 55 years of age and older group but they give him the highest percentage on both the very good and the poor ratings. Does that have something. Oh and the poor also means that they're not right. So there is more polarization. The four out of 10 Republicans give him a good rating. We got to go back to the president's race for a moment we saw that that result a moment ago. President Reagan does pretty well virtually everywhere does he not. Yes he does and really there's not a whole lot of news in the presidential race except to say that in fact Heart polls better than Mondale becomes the president. Her poll 35 percent against Mondale's 23 percent. So for this date he might have been the stronger candidate. That's just really clearly true. In fact in North Idaho heart leads a president in the north by 57 to 35 percent. The president did fairly well among younger voters did he not. Yes he did and this is perhaps a surprise but Reagan is strongest among younger Idahoans and this is a function of where each party gains its strength. That is Republicans tend to be younger than Democrats and I know just very briefly did we see that much talked about gender gap here where women don't like the president as much. There's no sign of a significant gender gap in Idaho regen versus Mondale regen poll 66 percent against men with men and among women it's 61 percent so not matching significant. Not at all. Thank you.
Wilderness is a controversial issue in this state and perhaps at no time more than right now. The U.S. Senate has already passed and the house is in the middle of hearings on a bill the state's congressional delegation calls a good compromise. But a lot of Idahoans don't see it that way. Our survey found a populace badly split on the issue.
We asked respondents first whether they favored or opposed adding more land to the existing wilderness in Idaho by a slim majority they favored at least some additions. Forty seven percent taking that position 43 percent saying no more. Ten percent said they hadn't made up their minds. We then asked the people who did favor more wilderness. How much more they favored. Thirteen percent of that group say of the five hundred twenty six thousand acres that's the amount proposed by the congressional delegation 15 percent agreed with Governor John Evans that another one point two million acres should be protected more than 30 percent voted for a 1.7 million acre wilderness a position supported by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and 24 percent of those who do want more wilderness shows the highest figure given them three point thirty five million acres. That proposed by the Idaho wild lands Defense Council. Senator James McClure was the man most responsible for the delegations much lower proposal of about a half million acres.
Well I think this survey shows what is no news to me at all and that is there's a great division of opinion among I don't know and certainly one survey doesn't say all.
I've forgotten exactly how many surveys we've had over the last 10 years that.
Have been remarkably uniform in their attitudes and I've said all along that certainly a generalized attitude that says about wilderness generally doesn't say what they feel about a particular area.
But that's not likely to be different.
But it does once again confirm the fact that I do not all of one mind.
But wilderness supporters say McClure and others have often claimed that most Idahoans oppose any new additions.
I'm very pleased you know. We've heard from our congressional delegation that people of state of Idaho in their polls indicated they didn't want any any increased wilderness at all indicates from your particular poll that 47 percent of the people want a wilderness 43 percent do not want any more wilderness and 10 percent is undecided. Well gee that indicates to me that we're we're going to be able to comfortably support on a political basis comfortably support an increase in wilderness somewhere in the level of which I've made recommendations on this survey Prue's what we've been saying and that's that the majority of Idahoans do not oppose more wilderness designation.
In fact your survey shows that a plurality plurality of Idahoans favor more we're going to stagnation.
We've maintained all along that the numbers have been go to the cinema clearer recently have not been corrected and I think it verifies our stand I think there are more people that favor wilderness in the state and don't oppose it. So I guess I'm I feel good about the fact that it sort of verifies the fact that there are a lot of sportsmen among other folks in the state and really do want more willing because of his values to wildlife wilderness proponents don't seem disturbed that a lot of Idahoans even if not a majority do oppose them and look at it in that point of view or in the light that there's 48 percent that favor additional wilderness that includes McClure's bill. But here's is the least popular proposal of any wilderness proposal and I think it just says it's lousy legislation and people like I don't want to I want more and something better I assure you that when I'm out people come up to me and I don't say well I'm just I'm in favor of what I'm sick of him opposed to that I talked in this a whine about areas and before long you find out that a great majority of those 43 percent aren't are against the concept of wilderness but their conservation when it comes to their area that they want protected. So I think even it's a question to ask him to those people that oppose wilderness. What about specific areas where you live and where do you hunt. And in that area do you favor words and I think you would have found it to 43 percent would have split dramatically the other way also.
43 percent one way 47 percent the other way can we can we really tell who's got the majority in the situation.
Well Jean we have to be careful in reviewing the statistics on this one. What we can say with a high degree of certainty is that the Idahoans are nearly split down the middle on whether or not they have more wilderness although Forty seven percent of those in our survey favor adding more than 43 percent oppose. The results are too close to confirm a statistically significant difference within a reasonable level of certainty. But there are some things we can say and again they are split on the issue. It's clearly a north south issue with seems to transcend party affiliation with the north generally opposing additional. Yes that's true. And since a typically Democratic North shows a plurality oppose an additional willingness yet Democrats statewide favor additional acreage by 52 to 41 percent. And then it's on.
So the Democrats in the north don't necessarily go along with their political counterparts in the south.
That's correct. It's also a generous generation gap issue. Older citizens especially those over 55 opposed Morwell when asked by by a two to one margin and those under 35 favor will win us by nearly three to one.
So there is some justification for the statement that it really is the younger people in Idaho who are who are after the will in the south.
And it definitely is. It's a strong margin. And again the polarity of opinion by age transcends party affiliation. So what best predicts how one might feel about wilderness will be determined by a person's age and where they live.
We did see that did we not among people who did want more wilderness quite a bit of strength for more for example than the governor has proposed. Yes we saw that 55 percent of those I believe were favoring 1.7 million or more of those who did favorable. Yes this is an issue we may well have to look at again. Yes.
Plans call for this survey to be repeated at regular intervals some of the subject matter will differ but we will repeat certain so-called tracking questions questions used to measure changes in public opinion over time.
A couple of those questions already have shown some perceptible shifts in the economy continued to dominate respondents concerns but both education and taxes declined in importance over the six month interval as respondents named a greater variety of problems they think are important. They were also less sure that the economy now is better than it was a year ago. In January more than 40 percent said it was this month only a third think so almost half say things are about the same.
About that reaction to the economy what what does that tell you about how people are perceiving the recovery and where it is.
Well Pew points regarding the economic conditions clearly have shifted as you pointed out the majority view is now that we are in a period of stability rather than growth. And but you have to see that things are getting neither better nor worse rather than actually a negative view. There's more optimism in Ada County than elsewhere and optimism has dropped off substantially in the Pocatello in Magic Valley area but it's not particularly negative.
Thank you. For some final reaction tonight we'll go back to the Republican convention at Sun Valley. Here is Mark Johnson.
It would be an understatement to say that Republicans are worried about Congressman George Henson's re-election chances and the numbers in this latest Idaho opinion survey would only seem to enhance the level of that worry at least among Republican Party officials. Hansen says situation and his re-election chances are certainly the topic of conversation paramount as the Republicans gather in Sun Valley this weekend for some political analysis of these latest poll numbers I'm joined tonight by Rod Grammer who's the political editor of the I don't Statesman newspaper in Boise. And Jim Fisher who covers politics for the Lewiston morning Tribune from Lewiston. Roger as you look at the ensign as Stallings numbers are they surprising to you that would Stallings has that sort of a lead.
Yes Mark I would say there's about a 30 percent spread between them and I'm not surprised that straw is ahead but I am surprised at the spread in that poll.
In the coming as the numbers did before even the latest bad publicity for the congressman and maybe that's even more surprising.
Yeah I talked to some county chairmen earlier this week and they indicated that they've even noticed a dip in his support since his sentence and so if that poll had been taken about a week later it could the margin could be even greater.
I'm right to say that Republicans are worried about this one edge and I would think so judging from the response that was given today by the party chairman Dennis Olson at the state convention which was a rather resoundingly denunciation of Hansen's opponent Richard Stallings and defense of of George Hansen's legal position at any rate I would say that right.
That's generally but it reflects some concern we don't have any reaction from the congressman's Stallings as reaction was basically the only poll that counts is Election Day and that's the classic comment about political polls but I'm wondering if if this if this really helps him obviously thinks it helps him in terms of encouraging his workers to tend to. It really fires them up for four. As the campaign moves into the summer. How do you think it will affect Hansen support.
Well I think it'll fire George's hard core supporters up because you know whenever there as George says their backs are against the wall he gets they get even lower than the NT about supporting. And so I think in that regard it will help but it will also discourage I think a lot of Republicans he's already this morning and I've talked to the feeling you're discouraged with results. How would you guess that would play Jim.
I suspect that some Republicans just simply may not vote in that race by. But I can't imagine that that many Republicans are going to want to support a Democrat and two just to see a House seat that has been Republican go over to the Democratic column and yet to have some of the county Republicans especially that I've talked to sound as if that they simply will not vote at all.
You know Mark like I just said one thing that in the poll I think a significant finding was that starts at the re 7.5 percent of the Republican votes and that was very surprising to me and I think that should be alarming as to the answer to that just in a word is this convention going to make any move to to get your chance and out of the race and will these numbers enhance that movement if it even exists right. I don't think so Mark. Leaders have been working behind the scenes to try to keep both sides Calm down to avoid a fight and Republicans are pretty good at that.
Jim clearly Jim McClure is no surprise that he is as far ahead I guess as he appears to be and if we can believe the numbers in this poll his comment was let's have the election today.
When he saw the win he saw the results of his people realistically can people is narrow that likable he certainly has that as the possibility of doing that and that of course is what he is saying I don't think that these results would be any surprise to Bush. He admits that he's fighting an uphill battle and I'm sure his first reaction would probably be let's have the election in November and he's going to be working from now and then to narrow that margin.
Jeff any thoughts on that on that how that race stands today writes I think the results are pretty clear there Mark and I and I I just think Bush is going to have trouble narrowing those results that's about what the floor be like Jenson Button 78 and I don't expect that to change.
The other major issue in the poll Jim was the what the where the questions about wilderness. What's your feeling about that debate. I'm not sure that it's a look there's enough in the numbers that almost any position can find something to support their point of view. How do you how do you look at this.
I don't think there's any surprise in the in the overall split that there are people who think that we need more wilderness there are people who think that we need less I think that the one thing that this that these results do is they put the lie to those people who have been saying that Idaho Idahoans feel one way or the other all Idahoans or most nearly all Idahoans feel one way or the other thing that's interesting however is when they are were asked how many acres they think should be added. You look at those numbers and it's obvious I think that a number of the respondents to the survey simply did not know which bridges meant more bridges represented less. So I think there is still some confusion on that issue.
Ron how do you how do you look at as well as. That's. Why I think that's right Mark Maclure isn't safe in saying a majority of people opposed wilderness and I think that at least a survey which shows that those figures could not may not be right that I don't is instead are deeply divided on this issue. This surprise you Jim that so many people in northern Idaho apparently don't want any more wilderness designated.
Not necessarily I think that the that many of the timber areas of the North have have either rightly or wrongly been led to believe that that wilderness means the degradation of the number of jobs and people up there do feel that way you get out into the into some of the areas around or if you know Grangeville areas like that you hear a lot of that kind of sentiment.
Is this likely in any way to cut in any of these races this fall led to this.
Question mark I was just going to make the point that this is really not a partisan issue. You know the Democrats two weeks ago really watered down their wilderness planks self. I think it depends on which part of the state you're talking about. Certainly in Ada County wilderness is popular certainly in Jim's area the Democrats are as opposed to it as the Republicans are so I think what you'll see is the local candidates reflecting their their calories point of view.
Maybe the lesson is that I no one's really are divided on that issue is if you want if you want to look for any any indication I suppose you'd find it in the bush McCloy race because there you definitely do have a bit of a choice. Bush clearly says that the McClure proposal is inadequate and he would like to see more.
That's all the time we have for tonight I'd like to thank Tom Brown for being with us tonight might also like to thank. He and the entire Inmarsat staff for the work they've done on this. Thank you. That is all the time we have for tonight be sure to join us on Monday night we'll have complete coverage of the Republican convention taking place in Sun Valley this weekend. I'm Jean Neal. Good night.
The funding for this program is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the friends of four 10 and 12.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- Idaho Reports
- Seiberling and Idaho Wilderness
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- Idaho Public Television (Boise, Idaho)
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- In the first episode of Idaho Reports the issue of preservation of the Idaho wilderness is discussed. The guests on this episode are: Congressman Larry Craig, Joe Hinson a representative of the timber industry, and Ron Mitchell an outdoor writer and sportsman. In the second episode of Idaho Reports the results of the recent Idaho Opinion Survey are discussed. The guest on this episode is Tom Brown the head of the firm that conducted the survey.
- Idaho Reports is a talk show featuring conversations with panels of experts about Idaho state politics.
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- Copyright 1984
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Guest: Craig, Larry
Guest: Hinson, Joe
Guest: Mitchell, Ron
Guest: Brown, Tom
Host: McNeil, Jean
Interviewee: Evans, John
Interviewee: Gramer, Rod
Interviewee: Fisher, Jim
Interviewee: Conley, Jerry
Interviewee: Batt, Phil
Interviewee: Seiberling, John
Interviewee: McClure, Jim
Interviewee: McLaughlin, M.
Interviewee: Maddock, Tom
Interviewee: Bowler, Bert
Interviewee: Stonebraker, Keith
Interviewee: Jones, Tam
Interviewee: Russell, Bob
Interviewee: Buell, Jack
Interviewee: Stallings, Richard
Interviewee: Miller, Janet
Interviewee: Ricks, Mark
Interviewee: Adamson, Dan
Interviewee: LeRoy, David
Interviewee: Busch, Pete
Interviewee: Robinson, Tom
Interviewee: Trueblood, Jack
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Idaho Public Television
Identifier: 94.0 (Idaho PTV Tape #)
Format: 3/4 inch videotape
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- Chicago: “Idaho Reports; Seiberling and Idaho Wilderness,” 1984-01-01, Idaho Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 18, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_328-687h4bqv.
- MLA: “Idaho Reports; Seiberling and Idaho Wilderness.” 1984-01-01. Idaho Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 18, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_328-687h4bqv>.
- APA: Idaho Reports; Seiberling and Idaho Wilderness. Boston, MA: Idaho Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_328-687h4bqv