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Western Watersheds Project Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Protection of Endangered Species

Mission: The mission of Western Watersheds Project is to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and litigation.

Target demographics: restore wildlife, habitat and watersheds.

Geographic areas served: public lands throughout the west

Programs: WWP monitors and comments on public lands management in AZ, CA, ID, NM, NV, OR, MT, UT, CO, WY

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

WWP is unfortunately a rare group doing the work that mainstream organizations shy away from. Their style is open, honest, brave and just. If you hike, backpack, bird, hunt or fish western lands or care about the watersheds you should be thanking this unique and fine organization for their tireless work at bringing the renegade livestock industry to abide by laws and regulations on the books. The industry has always had their way by way of threats and intimidation. WWP doesn't buy the threats. They meticulously document the damage, go to court and win.

John257

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the best enviro-organisations in the US. Saving habitat and without all the flim flam of coffee mugs. cuddly toys, t-shirts etc etc. If you want to use your hard earned wages for some real philanthropic good, then donating to the Western Watersheds Project is a fine place to start.

Smart people who are out there getting the job done.

Ryan47

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

WWP takes on the fight other environmental groups tend to shy away from - for good reason. The work they are doing and exposing have direct impacts on those of us who reside in the Rocky Mountain West.

Eddie7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Western Watersheds is at the forefront of fighting to save arid western public lands and the watersheds they depend upon. From ground level volunteers to attorneys fighting in court to board members serving & directing, WWP is made up of visionary & dedicated people. They take on the legal battles necessary to preserve our public lands against large, well-funded and entrenched groups concerned mainly with making a buck to the detriment of these fragile landscapes. If I could rate them higher, I would.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Although the livestock industry likes to portray Western Watersheds as anti-rancher, I think they are one of the few that propose a way to resolve issues over public lands grazing. I like their proposed (and introduced) legislation in Congress that would allow payment to retire a grazing lease if a rancher wants to sell it and a non-profit wants to buy it and retire the lease for the benefit of wildlife, watershed, etc.

Despite this difficulty, WWP has gotten grazing leases in harmful locations closed, wildlife and water protected.

Currently there is no way to retire a federal grazing lease except for bad performance or other illegalities by a permittee and subsequent permittees. So at the present, retirement requires a tactic of pressing the agency to strictly enforce the laws and regulations. They are loath to do this, so WWP has to go to court on behalf of the public. It would be terrible if urban law enforcement had to use this method!

Anyway, cheers for WWP. They are braver than other organizations that deal with our public lands.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

Western Watersheds Project is an extremely effective organization working to challenge outdated land management practices in the west through legal and political action. I recently became involved with WWP through visual monitoring of the impact of livestock on public land in sensitive grizzly bear habitat in Idaho and Wyoming. As a photographer and videographer, it has been appalling to document the damage and land degradation from grazing by cattle and domestic sheep. Top predators are a key part of a healthy, functioning ecosystem. For them to thrive, cattle and domestic sheep need to be removed from our public lands. WWP is working to help make this happen.


5

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm a former BLM biologist who has seen first hand the multiple ways that livestock production has damaged and degraded public lands. The abuses go on in spite of efforts of many employees who know, as I did, how livestock was compromising public values like water quality, soils, wildlife habitat, and even recreational opportunities (camping among cow pies is not an experience most people enjoy).

That is why I so admire the tenacity and exceptional knowledge of WWP staff. There are few organizations in the West willing to challenge the livestock juggernaut. WWP is the most dedicated, and most effective organization I know speaking up for our public lands ecological health and integrity. That is why I recently joined the board.

3 Veronica E.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Western Watersheds Project is the single most effective organization in the country to challenge outdated land management practices and to stand up for the preservation of native biodiversity and for fiscal and scientific responsibility in the agencies that manage our public lands. In over 40 years of guiding, working and recreating on western public lands I have seen massive decline in landscape health virtually everywhere. WWP and its partner organizations are to be commended for holding land managers' feet to the fire and getting on the ground results!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

13 years ago I retired in Salt Lake City and started hiking often around southern Utah. I couldn't believe the number of cows everywhere. I started to look into it and over time came to believe that public land grazing is the single most damaging activity to the environment in the Intermountain West. And that taxpayers have to subsidize the ranchers to deplete the land this way was obviously nuts. I started a publishing company to try to help create awareness through the power of pen and story because I thought most environmental organizations were not able to get much done without greater public awareness. Except for Western Watersheds. They keep getting results. I am a big fan.

Mark Bailey
Torrey House Press

4 Barbara Warner

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Western Watersheds Project is working to stop the abuse of our public lands by the welfare ranchers. These ranchers have millions of cattle on our public lands which were proven by a 1990-91 Government Accounting Office study to cause over-grazing and destruction of riparian areas. Government agencies are killing predators and are wiping out our wild horses and other species to benefit these ranchers , all at tax-payers expense.They are also destroying native trees and plants in order to seed the ranges with non-native grasses to benefit livestock. WWP is one of the few organizations that has managed to protect some of our public lands. I am proud to support them.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Western Watersheds has stepped in where state game and fish agencies have been politicized to remain quiet on cattle and domestic sheep grazing issues on public lands. It is well documented that bighorn sheep will die from disease when they come into contact with domestic sheep on our public lands and Western Watersheds has stepped in to remove domestic sheep from my public lands for the benefit of my bighorn sheep, while state game and fish agencies have shied away from this controversy.

Ranchers are not the saviors or our public lands and their self imposed statements of feeding America with their cattle and sheep from my public lands speaks to their self imposed delusions of grander, usually from watching too many John Wayne movies.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For too long public lands in the west have been exploited and damaged at public expense. It's time to put an end to welfare ranching. My beliefs are based on facts and evidence, not cowboy myth. Public land grazing has become a looser for public interest and a winner for a few wealthy ranchers. We must stop this, It is not sustainable. We should be managing public lands for the long term public interest, not for short term financial gain for a few private individuals. Ranchers who cry loud and long about jobs hire foreign nationals to do the real work. Western Watersheds does more than any other organization to provide real information and protection of our public lands. Stop welfare ranching.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm primarily familiar with WWP's work in the Southwest. The organization has used a judicious combination of on-the-ground research, public pressure, and litigation to improve agency management of public lands in the region, especially with regard to management of livestock grazing. WWP is "lean and mean," using donations to good effect in advancing the protection of resources on our public lands. When you give to WWP you get a large bang for your bucks. My spouse and I have been donors for several years and plan to continue to support the organization.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This is a bogus organization dedicated to eliminating American ranchers and farmers in favor of fake endangered species, like wolves, and turning America back into "wild". Part of their propaganda is to post & distribute doctored/photoshopped photos taken of "overgrazed public lands", which are totally faked. Not sure WHERE THEY will move to, or where they will find food to eat for themselves & their dogs & cats. They do not deserve to have NPO status & continue to take advantage of American taxpayers they are trying to destroy.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The Western Watersheds Project is an organization determined to put people out of work any way they can. They want to wipe out all ranching on federal lands. This has nothing to do with conservation and everything to do with bullying innocent people out of their jobs, homes and heritage. In Arizona alone, federal lands ranching delivers a positive $3.2 billion economic impact. 98% of farms and ranches in the USA are family owned and operated. The things the WWP says about the ranchers are not valid and often inaccurate. The photographs they use in their propaganda are misrepresentative. For example they are currently posting photos on their website taken at the end of a severe drought and saying the vegetation is gone because of cattle. However, the most recent summer had good rains and all those bare places they photographed, which still have cattle on them, are carpeted in perennial grasses and green vegetation. The WWP would never publish photos of the same places after a good rain! There are dozens of peer-reviewed, journal published studies showing the environmental benefits of ranching but the Western Watersheds Project relies only on "science" that is biased by pretending ranching is managed today the same as it was in 1890-1925. All grazing on federal lands today is scientifically managed and all the "science" WWP relies on looks only at the effects of unmanaged grazing (vintage 1890 management) versus grazing exclusion. The WWP abuses the ESA to harm people, not to care for endangered species. For example they submitted a petition to the US Fish and Wildlife Service claiming that cattle grazing was a major threat to the Sonoran Desert Tortoise. Their "scientist" came up with that claim by manufacturing "threat scores" that had no basis whatever in actual measurements of anything whatsoever. They just imagined these numbers and then pumped them through computer models to impress people with no scientific background. They pump this garbage out on boilerplate petitions and force the government to deal with it or get sued. A local government organization that is responsible for watershed conservation called the Fish and Wildlife Service into coordination. They presented a study that had been conducted by collecting data over a 20- year time frame. That study showed there is absolutely no impact of managed cattle grazing on the Sonoran Desert Tortoise, so the US Fish and Wildlife Service accepted that and did not list cattle grazing in the U.S. as a threat to the species. The problem with groups like WWP is that hard working, honest families that depend on cattle grazing for their livelihoods must continually, and at great expense, prove their innocence from bombardment of scurrilous endangered species petitions, just to continue to put food on their table -and yours -while bully groups like WWP burden the rest of society to pay their taxes for them. I've clicked "life changing" below because WWP ruins innocent people's lives.

Review from Guidestar

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Western Watersheds Project has single handedly revolutionized the way America's public lands are being managed by the governmental agencies responsible for protecting them. Agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service have traditionally allowed ranchers to abuse public lands with little if any real oversight. Decisions were routinely rubber stamped while the environment continued on a downward spiral. This all changed when the WWP challenged the status quo and forced the agencies to actually take steps to monitor and start protecting and restoring abused lands and watersheds.

Review from Guidestar