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

How You Can Help

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

Recent Stories From Public Lands

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Postcard from the Gila

July 23, 2018

Guardians’ Conservation Director, Wild Places Program Director, and I spent four days circumnavigating the Gila National Forest and meeting its players—animal, plant, and human

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Cougar black white wild time WildEarth Guardians One Day Closer
Wild Time
Oct 16, 2017
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Why legislation authorizing permanent retirement of livestock grazing permits matters

July 23, 2018

Keeping livestock off public lands has many benefits, but existing law doesn’t allow for permanent livestock grazing permit retirement

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Public Lands Press

Chaco needs congressional leadership

The Santa Fe New Mexican | Mar 24, 2018

For centuries, Chaco Canyon was a gathering place where ancestral Puebloan peoples came together to make their world a better place. At the heart of the ancient civilization’s genius are the complex and intricate relationships between its grand architecture, global commerce, ceremonies and their link to solar and lunar cycles.

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Crew of youth, mostly Native, working to restore Valles Caldera

Santa Fe New Mexican | Jul 7, 2019

Everett leaves his home in Tesuque Pueblo by 7 a.m. Around two hours later, he’s deep in the grasslands and mountains of the Valles Caldera National Preserve. He is a member of a Youth Conservation Corps crew conducting restoration and preservation work in the Valles Caldera.

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