This is a pretty big generalization coming from a wildlife professional:
Most Americans know very little about wildlife and nature, and this affects their ability to make intelligent, rational, and well-considered decisions.
Also, I don't think that intelligence + knowledge of nature necessarily = "rational, well-considered decisions." In Boulder, Colorado, where I just spent a year, people are highly intelligent but let the deer roam wild because they like having Bambi in their midst. That attracts the mountain lions. I wouldn't call this behavior on the part of the Boulder residents "rational" or "well-considered."