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.
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Photo Credit: WildEarth Guardians

Recent Stories From Public Lands

Public Lands Press

On Losing and Winning

Counter Punch | Nov 13, 2020

In a recent phone conversation with a group of friends, we were asked to speak about loss as a sort of cathartic recognition of the feelings of the moment, induced by certain biological, viral, and political upheavals…

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National Forest Roads and Wildfire
Counter Punch | Oct 8, 2020

Forest Service slows review of Trump-era livestock directives for public lands

Vail Daily News | Feb 28, 2021

In late 2020, some of the Trump administration’s last-minute land-management efforts included a plan to ease rules on mining, drilling and grazing across millions of acres of Western states. The U.S. Forest Service extended the comment period on the Proposed Directives for Rangeland Management to April 17.

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