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Rural Matters_M.Enzer_2008
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Rural Matters_M.Enzer_2008



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  • 1. Rural Matters Conservation Matters
  • 2. What is rural?
  • 3. The federal government defines "rural" as counties with less than 50,000 residents Or any area that is not defined as "urban"
  • 4. Others say proximity to an airport defines “rural” Source: www.headwatersinstitute.org Metro : Has a major airport Connected : 1 hour drive to the nearest major airport Isolated: More than 1 hour drive to the nearest major airport
  • 5. The dictionary says rural is…
    • Relating to or characteristic of the country or people who live in the country
    • Relating to farming; agricultural
    Note: Less than 1% of U.S. population claims farming as occupation (and only 2% actually live on farms)
  • 6. Did you know…
  • 7. Rural America comprises 80% of the nation’s landscape 96% of land in federal ownership is the responsibility of the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management
  • 8. The national poverty rate is 12.6% In rural America t he poverty rate is 14.5% 189 of the 200 poorest counties are rural
  • 9.  
  • 10. In the same period 1.5 million rural workers lost their jobs That’s 16% of the nation’s workforce Nationwide 9.3 million workers were displaced between 1997 and 2003
  • 11. One in three public schools in the country are located in rural areas 74.7% of poor rural children receive free or reduced-price lunches Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Economic Information Bulletin Number 1, March 2005
  • 12. 18.5% of rural people under the age of 65 don’t have health insurance Source: Health Care in Rural America: A Series of Features from the Center for Rural Affairs Newsletter , Center for Rural Affairs, 2004. 68 percent come from families where there is at least one full-time worker 30 percent are children Almost two-thirds come from families of four who live on less than $37,000
  • 13. Over the last 4 decades Oregon and Washington have seen a 53% decline in forest products employment
  • 14.
    • Tribes own and manage 50 to 75%
    • of all non-renewable energy resources
    • (coal, oil, uranium, and natural gas)
    25.3% of Native Americans are living in poverty--- that’s 537,000 people
  • 15. The 2008 Election
  • 16. Nationwide 17% of the voters were rural
  • 17. 2008 Presidential Election Results in All (Rural) Non-metropolitan Counties Sources: CBSA Status: OMB and U.S. Census Bureau County election results: New York Times Obama (454 counties) McCain (1,570 counties)
  • 18. Is rural America turning purple?
  • 19. What about the rural landscape?
  • 20. 23% (1.24 million acres) have burned in California alone…so far 5,270,693 acres burned in 2008
  • 21.
    • U.S. fires release about
    • 290 million metric tons
    • of carbon dioxide a year
    Source: Christine Wiedinmyer and Jason C. Neff. "Estimates of CO2 from fires in the United States: Implications for carbon management" Carbon Balance and Management; Personal communication and math skills of Lynn Jungwirth ..equal to 5 million cars driving for one year
  • 22. 55% of all wildfire suppression expenditures occurred in Forest Service Regions 5 and 6 Only 17% of fire hazard reduction activity occurred in these two regions
  • 23. Percentages of USFS Annual Average Fire Suppression Spending (1995-2004) to Acres Treated for Fire Hazard Reduction (2003-2007)
  • 24. Americans pay more than $138 billion per year to deal with the problem In 2006 5.3 million acres of tree mortality was due to insects and disease
  • 25. Recreational anglers spent $592 million within 50 miles of their Forest Service fishing holes Pacific salmon, steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat stocks are at risk of extinction
  • 26. Between 50 to 90 million acres of Forest Service Land need hazardous fuels treatment In 2007 the Forest Service completed 3 million acres of hazardous fuels reduction work needed
  • 27.
    • Produce 10,000 mega watts of power
    • Which would create 49,000 jobs
    If we thinned and reduced fuels on 6.6 million acres annually we could: Source: WGA and personal communication and math from Lynn Jungwirth By the way… wood waste takes up 20% of rural landfills
  • 28. There is $467 million back log in recreation site and facility needs on Forest Service lands $192 million is generated in annual federal income tax revenues from hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing
  • 29. That’s around three acres per minute Every day, America loses more than 4,000 acres of open space to development
  • 30.
    • In 2007, the federal government spent $1.4 billion as 9.3 million acres burned
    • That’s $1500 an acre
    In 1998 the federal government spent $307 million on wildfire suppression and 1.3 million acres burned That’s $300 an acre Source: National Interagency Fire Center
  • 31. There is an $8 billion back log in road restoration and maintenance needs on Forest Service lands
  • 32.
    • The Forest Service spent over $1.6 billion on fire suppression this year…
    Congress still has not passed a wildfire cost containment bill
  • 33. What can we do?
  • 34. Have a strategy Be Prepared Send a clear message Believe in solutions Collaborate
  • 35. Is there any hope?
  • 36. Rural Voices for Conservation