WildEarth Guardians

A Force for Nature

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Protect wolves in Montana and the Northern Rockies

After losing Endangered Species Act protections in the Northern Rockies, wolf packs in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming have been decimated—including the storied wolves of Yellowstone National Park. The Biden administration must relist wolves before it’s too late.

Photo: Sam Parks

Defending wolves in the Northern Rockies and beyond

The Heart of a Wolf

Wolf Hearted IPAWildEarth Guardians and Imagine Nation Brewing have teamed up to brew another batch of Wolf Hearted IPA, a special beer we created together to support our wolf defense work. Wolf Hearted IPA was released to the public during a special party at the brewery on September 15, 2022. It will be available on draft at the brewery or available in a “wolf pack-four pack” of 16 oz cans at the brewery and at select locations across Missoula while supplies last.

During the 2021/2022 trophy hunting and trapping season, a slaughter of gray wolves—the likes of which America hadn’t witnessed in 100 years—took place in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. This included at least 24 Yellowstone wolves that were shot or trapped after they left the safety of Yellowstone National Park. Park officials said the deaths are “a significant setback for the species’ long-term viability and for wolf research.”

State “management” of wolves in the Northern Rockies is a bloody disaster. In Montana, 50 percent of the state’s entire wolf population could be killed during the 2022/2023 season by various brutal and unethical methods, including baiting, snaring, and night hunting. The Montana legislature also authorized a wolf “bounty” program.

The state of Idaho lets trophy hunters and trappers kill an unlimited number of wolves. Wolves can be run down with hounds and chased with ATVs and snowmobiles. Idaho has a “bounty” on wolves, and the state can even hire private contractors to kill up to 90 percent of the wolf population. The wolf hunting and trapping regulations in Wyoming are equally draconian.

We are very grateful to Imagine Nation for brewing Wolf Hearted IPA and for their partnership calling attention to the dire situation facing gray wolves across Montana and the Northern Rockies.

Wolf Hearted IPA is an invitation to every lover of the Wild: raise a glass, have the heart of a wolf, and take action to defend wolves.

WildEarth Guardians is a Force for Nature
in Montana and Beyond

From defending wild public lands surrounding Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, to reestablishing grizzly bears in the Bitterroot Mountains and ensuring elk and bighorn sheep have room to roam on the Rocky Mountain Front, WildEarth Guardians is a force for nature across
Big Sky Country.

Wildlife

Our wildlife program works to protect threatened and endangered species, including the grizzly bear, gray wolf, wolverine, and Canada lynx. We recognize that we must coexist with wildlife and shift the paradigm of wildlife management from persecution to protection. For wildlife’s sake, we are relentless advocates, reformers, and voices for the vulnerable.

Wild Places

Guardians’ wild places program protects public lands and connects vast landscapes where wildlife can roam and thrive. Unfortunately, increased logging, mining, livestock grazing, oil and gas development, motorized use, and even more roads are destroying public lands. We combat this culture of extraction by deploying strategies including education, restoration, advocacy, and litigation.

Climate & Energy

WildEarth Guardians has been at the forefront of the Keep It in the Ground movement for over a decade. Our climate and energy program has a proven track record of success, combating oil, gas, and coal production on federal public lands. We’re fighting not just to reduce fossil fuel consumption, but to stop fossil fuel production in its tracks. We simply can’t frack, drill, and mine our way out of the climate crisis.

Wild Rivers

To ensure the future health of Western rivers and all the species that depend on them, our wild rivers program revives the pulse of great waterways, exposes historic injustices to rivers, and aims to untie the tangled knot of archaic water law. Instead of controlling and diverting rivers, pumping them into the hands of the highest bidder, we seek to restore their natural courses from source to sea.

Your Generosity Makes a Difference

Whether you live in Missoula, elsewhere in Montana—or even across the country—the wildlife, wild places, and wild rivers of Montana inspire awe. As a Guardians member, you’ll join tens of thousands of people on the front lines, fighting the cruel treatment of wildlife, halting fossil fuel extraction on public lands, and protecting endangered species, healthy rivers, and wild places in Montana and across the American West.

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Recent Montana Victories and Work

From an office in downtown Missoula, we relentlessly fight to defend public lands, wildlife, and clean water across Montana.

Together with our allies, we recently stopped a massive U.S. Forest Service timber sale at the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park that would’ve clearcut over 4,600 acres of native forests and bulldozed 56 miles of logging roads in critical habitat for grizzly bears and Canada lynx.

Farther north, we scored a major victory for threatened grizzly bears and bull trout on the Flathead National Forest when a federal court rejected crucial aspects of the Forest Service’s revised forest plan. And right now, we’re working with the Yaak Valley Forest Council to protect a rare inland temperate rainforest on the Kootenai National Forest from an old-growth logging scheme.
In February 2022—based on our lawsuit—a federal judge preliminarily ruled the Trump administration illegally approved an expansion of southeast Montana’s Rosebud strip mine, which feeds the Colstrip power plant, one of the largest greenhouse gas polluters in the nation. Also in 2022, another lawsuit victory struck down the massive expansion of Signal Peak Energy’s Bull Mountains coal mine north of Billings. The proposed expansion would have made this the largest underground coal mine in the U.S. based on annual production, resulting in more greenhouse gas emissions than any point source in the country. In August 2022, Guardians and allies halted all coal leasing on federal lands until the Bureau of Land Management completes a more sufficient environmental analysis. And on September 5, 2022, we reached an agreement with the Biden administration that blocks oil and gas drilling on 58,000 acres in Montana and the Dakotas, pending a new analysis for impacts to the climate and groundwater.
We are also fighting for Montana’s imperiled wildlife, including gray wolf, wolverine, Canada lynx, and sage grouse. While our landmark court victory in February restored federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections to the gray wolf across the Lower 48 states, the ruling did not apply to wolves in Montana or across the Northern Rockies. So in March, we filed a new petition seeking immediate ESA protection for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies. We are also working with our partners and other wolf activists in Montana to rein in the state’s brutal trapping regulations for the upcoming 2022/2023 season and calling out the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission for using “fuzzy math” to inflate Montana wolf numbers in order to avoid federal relisting.

How You Can Help

Help protect the incredible, vulnerable wildlife of the West! Be a guardian for the wild by joining the conversation, learning about current issues, and making your voice heard. Together, we're a powerful force for nature.

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