Land Resources Conservation,
Protection of Endangered Species
Mission: WildEarth Guardians is a non-profit, environmental advocacy organization whose mission is to protect and restore the wildlife, wild rivers, and wild places of the American West. WildEarth Guardians was founded in 1989 and has a long history of conservation successes protecting carnivores, ancient forests, rivers and other threatened landscapes and wildlife. The organization currently operates four major programs: Wildlife, Wild Places, Wild Rivers, and Climate & Energy. As of July 1, 2013 WildEarth Guardians and Wildlands CPR entered into a strategic merger that brings Wildlands CPR—a twenty year old organization based in Montana—programs and staff into WildEarth Guardians Wild Places program, a move both organizations believe creates a single entity better equipped to truly protect and restore threatened wild lands and wild life in the American West. Today, WildEarth Guardians has more than 25,000 members and e-activists, 74,000 Causes supporters, and over 9,000 Facebook ‘likes,’ the majority of whom live in the 11 Western states. We now have offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming.
WildEarth Guardians relies on a potent combination of litigation, education, scientific analysis, and public advocacy on behalf of the West’s threatened wildlife and wild places. Our new integrated 24 person staff includes lawyers, policy experts, scientists, ecosystem restoration experts, community organizers and fundraisers. Our 2013 budget is $2.6 million, which comes from diverse sources, including members and donors, foundations and government grants.
Results: A few recent accomplishments include:
• Our historic, nationwide settlement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reached in September 2011, which resulted in new endangered species protections for 54 species in 2012 alone, and will result in final decisions to secure endangered species status for 253 imperiled species in total by the end of 2016.
• In February 2013, spurred by legal pressure from WildEarth Guardians, the Public Service Company of New Mexico announced it will shutter half of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station by the end of 2017. This Guardians victory will prevent more than 5 million tons of carbon dioxide from being released every year – equal to taking more than one million passenger vehicles off the road.
• WildEarth Guardians, as Wildlands CPR, spearheaded efforts to ensure the U.S. Forest Service addressed the ubiquitous threat of off-road vehicles to public lands, which lead to closing of 50 million acres of National Forest land to cross-country off-road vehicle abuse.
• WildEarth Guardians, as Wildlands CPR, convinced Congress to invest $315 million (to date) in the Forest Service Legacy Roads and Trails Program, which funds road reclamation and in turn protects drinking water supplies and endangered fish habitat across the American West.
Programs: Wild places: the american west is a place set apart with abundant public lands and remnant ancient forests, pristine grasslands, and wild headwaters and streams, which remind us of the spectacular richness that once epitomized this region. Wildearth guardians' wild places program protects public lands with a primary emphasis on national forests and bureau of land management lands. There are more than 300 million acres of public lands in the 17 western states, and our goal is to prevent their capture and destruction by private, extractive interests. Sadly, many of the diverse ecosystems in the west are in trouble. For example, the southwestern ponderosa pine ecosystem, the interior west's sagebrush sea, and fragile streams and wetland habitats are all considered endangered ecosystems. While advocating to end activities that threaten to destroy our public wildlands in the american west, we also work to ensure that they remain biologically intact and ecologically functional by actively restoring previously damaged lands, waters, and ecosystems. Our accomplishments mean not only greater protection for wild landscapes but also the wildlife, water and air that make them the treasures we cherish. 2014 specific accomplishments: --we succeeded in our bid to get the highest degree of protection for 200 miles of colorado streams and rivers that provide pristine habitat for the colorado river cutthroat trout. --our coalition work paid off when congress increased the budget for road reclamation and fish habitat improvement by 5 million (or 14%) boosting restoration of our national forests. --we completed the first voluntary grazing waiver on the gila national forest, giving wolves over 28,000 cow-free acres to roam. --we planted more than 100,000 trees and other plants on public lands to improve watershed health and wildlife habitat. --along with our partners, we reached an agreement with the forest service that will save imperiled wildlife and plants, keep clean air clean, and safeguard 1. 7 million acres of our public lands in utah from damaging oil and gas drilling.
river restoration: wildearth guardians balances our reform of public lands policy and protection of wild places with on-the-ground forest and watershed restoration. Active restoration provides opportunities for members and volunteers to give back to future generations and creates jobs in rural, land-based communities. Wildearth guardians is restoring fragmented forests and waterways polluted by domestic livestock and a legacy of logging roads. We've replanted native riparian vegetation on hundreds of miles of rivers and streams and removed barbed-wire fence that impedes wildlife movement. In collaboration with land management agencies and local contractors, we are rewilding large landscapes and wildlife corridors as well as restoring hydrological function. This work is part of a larger climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy. 2014 specific accomplishments: --planted approximately than 100,000 native trees and native forage species including: 102,000 bebbs, strapleaf, and coyote willow, 900 aspen, 400 cottonwood, 700 bog birch, 700 thinleaf alder, 200 chokecherry. --plantings covered 3. 49 miles of stream. --protected more than 3 miles of stream and 55 acres of riparian habitat from livestock use. --restored 30 acres of prairie grassland. --constructed 50 prairie dog burrows. --created 8 acres of wetland habitat.
wildlife: the american west hosts a dazzling array of native wildlife and plants, from the mighty black bear and grey wolf, to minute caddisflies, springsnails, and irises. The diversity of life in the region is a product of varied topography and a multitude of ecological niches that these native species call home. Wildearth guardians works to protect the vast spectrum of native species because they have an inherent right to exist, and because we, like most people, value wildlife, wildlands, and naturally functioning systems. With ecological function and biodiversity come amenities such as clean water, clean air, and natural landscapes to watch wildlife. From common species such as the coyote to rare creatures such as the black- footed ferret and lesser prairie chicken, the fauna and flora of the west form the very threads in the vibrant tapestry of life. We work to preserve that tapestry, rather than let it unravel. 2014 specific accomplishments: --for the second year in a row, we prevented a wildlife killing contest targeting wolves and coyotes from occurring on over 3 million acres of public land in idaho. --we secured endangered species act protections for key sagebrush sea species, including the gunnison sage grouse and lesser prairie- chicken. --after a decade of advocacy, we obtained endangered species act protections for canada lynx wherever the species roams in the lower 48 states, including the wilds of new mexico and colorado. --we filed suit to overturn flawed decisions denying needed protections to imperiled species including the wolverine and gunnison's prairie dog. --we helped generate over 1. 5 million public comments telling the u. S. Fish and wildlife service to keep gray wolves protected under the endangered species act.
climate and energy program: our vision is simple - a future 100 percent powered by renewable energy by 2035. To get there, the goal of our climate and energy program is reform that prioritizes energy efficiency and conservation, phases out fossil fuels, and embraces environmentally appropriate clean power sources. The tragedy of the gulf oil spill was a disturbing reminder of just how much we stand to lose by relying on fossil fuels. That's why wildearth guardians' goal has been and continues to be simple: to help clean energy take root by exposing the true cost of fossil fuels. 2014 specific accomplishments: --we defended the climate from coal mining in the american west, both spoiling plans for expanded mining on our public lands in western colorado and preventing the federal government from selling more than one billion tons of coal in the powder river basin of montana and wyoming. --we made it more difficult for the coal industry to pollute our air, successfully petitioning the federal government to limit toxic orange clouds produced from blasting at coal mines. --we forced utility companies in colorado, utah, and wyoming to either risk spending millions to upgrade their existing coal-fired power plants or instead invest in more affordable solar and wind alternatives or greater efficiency and conservation measures. --we thwarted fracking on 20,000 acres of public lands in the greater chaco region of new mexico and are gearing up to defend hundreds of thousands of additional acres in the west from the oil and gas industry's greed. Total expenses: 163,945 other programs: legal: 2014 expenses = 349,030 publications and outreach: 2014 expenses = 114,735 wild rivers: 2014 expenses = 95,863 events: 2014 expenses = 33,243 lobbying: 2014 expenses = 5,961