Protecting the Voiceless

Why Guardians

WildEarth Guardians is an effective, top-rated 4/4-star non-profit vetted by Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.

We are Guardians.

We protect and restore the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health of the American West.

Driven by passion, we’ve tackled some of the West’s most difficult and pressing conservation challenges over the past three decades with a combination of intelligence, strategy, and creativity.

We are a voice for the voiceless, advocates for nature’s inherent right to exist and thrive. We speak for the wild life, places, and waters that have been dominated and abused to serve the interests of a greedy few. Bit by bit, we are restoring the balance.

Our campaigns bring nature back to life—like giving the Rio Grande back its own water; ending our dependence on fossil fuels; and toppling the cruel, ineffective, and secretive federal wildlife killing agency. We are now, as always, A Force for Nature.

Read our brand story.

Our hard-won victories and continued growth bear testament to this truth: nothing can dissuade us from a vision that entails protecting all of the American West, from its Rocky Mountains and Great Plains to its vast Sagebrush Sea.

— John Horning, Executive Director, WildEarth Guardians

WildEarth Guardians’ Landmark Victories

Protected the Lobo

March 2018

After our legal challenge, a judge ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to redo its 2015 management rule for Mexican wolves. The misguided plan ignored best available science, placing arbitrary population caps on lobos; limiting their territory; and allowing more lobos to be killed—hardly conducive to recovery of the species.

Kept it in the Ground

September 2017

We prevailed in the conservative-leaning 10th Circuit, winning a ruling that could ultimately keep two billion tons of coal in the ground in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. The victory complements our relentless legal advocacy to bring a just and swift end to the federal coal program.

Prevented Wildlife Killers From Getting Away With Murder

June 2017

Through a lawsuit, we helped quash the Department of Justice’s misguided “McKittrick Policy,” which allowed killers of endangered species to get away with murder by claiming not to know the identity of the species they killed. The policy had crippled prosecutions of those who kill animals protected by the Endangered Species Act, such as Mexican wolves.

Defended Wildlife in Nevada From the Federal Wildlife-Killing Agency


We won a legal settlement that prohibits federal wildlife-killing agency Wildlife Services from trapping, poisoning, and using other cruel and indiscriminate practices on more than six million acres of our public lands in Nevada.

Pioneered a Grazing Retirement Process


We completed our first, voluntary retirement of a grazing allotment with a public lands rancher, removing livestock from almost 50 square miles in the Greater Gila—a milestone step for protecting our public lands for wildlife.

Protected Hundreds of Endangered Species


We reached a landmark nationwide Endangered Species Act legal settlement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which prevented the government from dragging its feet when adding animals and plants to the endangered species list. Our actions resulted in the listing of nearly 200 endangered species by 2016.

Gave the Rio Grande a Right to Its Own Water


After five years of legal advocacy, we secured the first-ever instream flows for the Rio Grande. The Rio, America’s Great River, is the lifeblood of the desert southwest; when its flows diminish, the ecology, culture, and economy of the surrounding area suffer. Securing flows for the river is vital for safeguarding its future.

Halted Logging on 21 Million Acres of Southwestern National Forests


Our lawsuit remains one of the largest in the history of the Forest Service and essentially ended logging as we know it in the Southwest. It also protected the home and habitat of the endangered Mexican spotted owl.

Banned Leghold Trapping in Colorado


Using Colorado’s Colorado Citizen initiative process, we mobilized widespread support to direct the state wildlife agency to ban trapping, ensuring durable and lasting change—and presenting an encouraging example of the power of the people.

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