WildEarth Guardians

A Force for Nature

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Photo Credit: Adriel Heisey

The Greater Gila – America’s next, great protected landscape

The Greater Gila

Deep in the heart of the American Southwest lies the Greater Gila Bioregion, a place that is larger and more biodiverse than Yellowstone, as rich in cultural history as Bears Ears, as wild as the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, and the birthplace of the wilderness ideal. WildEarth Guardians believes that the Greater Gila can and should be America’s next, great protected landscape. We envision a protected area of equal or greater size to three million acres, anchored around the Gila, Aldo Leopold, and Blue Range wilderness areas where wolves and jaguars are free to roam, Mexican spotted owls soar, and Gila and Apache trout thrive in free-flowing rivers and streams.

For decades, WildEarth Guardians has advocated for protection and restoration of the Greater Gila Bioregion. We’ve made great strides since shifting our approach to working with ranchers, rather than against them. Our innovative method for retiring grazing allotments has resulted in the protection of more than 36,000 acres of important Mexican wolf habitat on public lands, giving the wildness that remains in the Greater Gila the space to endure.

Guardians is actively pursuing more grazing permit retirements and working to protect the Greater Gila against the threats of logging, roads, and other harmful activities. We aim to protect, restore, and reconnect public and private lands to provide a unique and rich place of wildness, wildlife, and wild rivers.

Greater Gila Priority Work

Mexican Wolves

The Greater Gila Bioregion is home to the recovering Mexican gray wolf, commonly known as the lobo. The Mexican wolf, a subspecies of its gray wolf relative, is gravely endangered, with only 114 wolves remaining in the wild. Learn more.

Grazing Permit Retirement

WildEarth Guardians compensates federal grazing permittees to end their grazing on public lands—an innovative, equitable, and effective way to overcome longstanding conflicts between livestock grazing and wildlife such as Mexican wolves, and decreasing water resources due to drought and climate change. Learn more.

Postcard from the Gila

In four days on the Gila, Guardians encountered a troubled legacy of vanquishing the Wild—and also experienced the remarkable resilience of this incredible landscape.

Recent Stories From Public Lands

WildEarth Webinar: Fire and Forest Ecology in the American West

June 11, 2021

Our guests cut through years of misinformation and misdirection to make an impassioned, evidence-based argument for a new paradigm of fire and forest management

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Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante restored

October 22, 2021

Let’s all celebrate this monumental win even as we know we’ll need to prepare to defend these special landscapes from future attacks

Read more >

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante restored

October 22, 2021

Let’s all celebrate this monumental win even as we know we’ll need to prepare to defend these special landscapes from future attacks

Read more >

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante restored

October 22, 2021

Let’s all celebrate this monumental win even as we know we’ll need to prepare to defend these special landscapes from future attacks

Read more >

Public Lands Press

Public Lands Open to Livestock Grazing Should Not Count Toward 30×30 Goals

Counter Punch | Oct 4, 2021

According to an article published on September 28, the Biden administration is considering including millions of acres of federal public lands permitted for cattle and sheep grazing toward meeting the goals of the 30×30 Initiative and “American the Beautiful” Program.

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All Public Lands Op-Eds

Santa Fe forest officials plan prescribed burns as dry winter looms

Santa Fe New Mexican | Oct 19, 2021

The Santa Fe area escaped the threat of extreme wildfire this summer, thanks to some well-timed monsoon rains. But Nathan Miller, the city’s wildland fire superintendent, said the days of a confined fire season — roughly April to August — are long gone.

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All Public Lands In the News