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Rural Matters/ Conservation Matters


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Produced by Sustainable Northwest. For more info:

Produced by Sustainable Northwest. For more info:

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology

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  • 1. Rural Matters Conservation Matters
  • 2. Did you know…
  • 3. 97% of America's land area is considered rural. Source: Prof. Andrew M. Isserman, University of Illinois, 2007. 20% of Americans live in rural areas.
  • 4. If rural America were a separate country, it would rank as the world's 23rd largest nation, Source: The Center for Rural Strategies, “RURAL REALITY vs. REALITY TV: ANATOMY OF A PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN” just behind France, Great Britain, & Italy.
  • 5. Of the 250 poorest counties in America, 244 are rural. The rural poverty rate is 21% higher than in metropolitan areas.
  • 6. 50% of rural Americans consider themselves "conservatives." In non-rural communities this figure is around 40%. Source: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research
  • 7. Rural communities have the highest voter registration rates in the U.S. Source: Election Data Services, Inc., 2004 Election Day Survey Report However, rural areas report the lowest voting rates in the nation.
  • 8.  
  • 9. So what does "rural" mean?
  • 10. The federal government defines "rural" as counties with less than 50,000 residents, Or any area that is not defined as "urban."
  • 11. According to the U.S. Census, The Grand Canyon is classified as “metropolitan,” Same as The Bronx, NY.
  • 12. Urban & Rural Areas - U.S. Census
  • 13. A few rural stereotypes…
  • 14. "Rural Utopia" Rural life is simple. Source: Kellogg Foundation, How to Talk Rural Issues , 2005. Poverty is a virtue. They take care of themselves. They chose this lifestyle. Stereotype:
  • 15. "Rural Dystopia" Rural communities are backward. Source: Kellogg Foundation, How to Talk Rural Issues , 2005. They are "others," separate and different from the rest of America. Stereotype:
  • 16. "Change is the Biggest Problem" Rural America is a victim of urban encroachment and modernization. Source: Kellogg Foundation, How to Talk Rural Issues , 2005. Stereotype:
  • 17. "Rural Needs Protection" Rural areas should be treated like museums with a no-touch, no-change policy. Source: Kellogg Foundation, How to Talk Rural Issues , 2005. Stereotype:
  • 18. Rural areas are America's vacation land. Let’s not spoil it. "Rural Needs Planning" Source: Kellogg Foundation, How to Talk Rural Issues , 2005. Stereotype:
  • 19. Do you agree?
  • 20. So what's happening in rural America?
  • 21. Changes Affecting Rural Areas:
    • Globalization
      • Decline of traditional industries & jobs
    Source: National Rural Assembly Final Report, 2007.
    • Migration
      • Changing demographics of communities
    • Underinvestment
      • Deterioration of infrastructure, services, & leadership
  • 22.
        • "Which of these environmental issues have had an effect on your family and community over the past 5 years?”
    Source: Carsey Institute, A New Survey of Views from Rural America.
  • 23. Percentage of Resource Extraction Jobs by County Source: U.S. Census, County Business Patterns, 2004. (from Sonoran Institute).
  • 24.
        • For the future of your community, do you think it is more important to use natural resources to create jobs, or to conserve natural resources for future generations?”
    Source: Carsey Institute, A New Survey of Views from Rural America.
  • 25. "Amenity-rich areas are growing and likely to grow more over the next decade."
  • 26. What about the rural landscape?
  • 27. The U.S. Forest Service manages over 190 million acres of forests and grasslands. The U.S. BLM manages 258 million acres of range, forest, and grasslands.
  • 28. U.S. Federal Lands & Indian Reservations
  • 29.
    • The Forest Service spent $1.5 billion on fire suppression in 2006.
    That's 45% of the total agency budget.
  • 30.
    • Communities within five-miles of federal lands have higher poverty levels than places further away.
    The closer you live to public lands, the higher your community’s poverty level.
  • 31. Are public lands management issues declining in the American political agenda?
  • 32. Source: Frank R. Baumgartner, “Social Movements and the Rise of New Issues,” 2002.
  • 33. Source: Frank R. Baumgartner, “Social Movements and the Rise of New Issues,” 2002.
  • 34. Some threats to the rural landscape…
  • 35.
    • Wildfire
    During the 2006 wildfire season 9,873,745 acres burned nationwide. 125% above the 10-year average.
  • 36. Invasive Species Over 3.5 million acres of National Forest land are infested with invasives. Americans pay more than $138 billion per year to deal with the problem.
  • 37. Land Conversion & Fragmentation Every day, America loses more than 4,000 acres of open space to development . That’s around three acres per minute.
  • 38. The intersection of rural communities and environmental health is a complex issue. But there's hope.
  • 39. How to get rural America on the national agenda, in four steps…
  • 40.
    • Reframe rural issues around assets, not just needs.
    2. Develop a unified voice for rural issues & perspectives.
  • 41. 3. Identify key members of Congress and engage them in rural development initiatives. 4. Develop a national media campaign that demonstrates rural America's diversity & opportunity.
  • 42. And above all…
  • 43.