How We Work

The Western Environmental Law Center is proof positive that a small group of committed individuals can change the world -- or in our case the American West. We combine unique skills and perspectives not replicated by any other group. 


We protect and preserve the American West through a regional vision. Staff in each of our offices in Oregon, New Mexico, Montana, and Washington listen and act upon the local needs of wildlife and wildlands. We also take necessary action to protect the climate and foster clean energy. As residents of the West, we are all deeply committed to its future.


Our work takes place in the three branches of government, at the federal, state, and local level.

1. WELC is a powerful force in court
Our attorneys work to protect the West’s landscapes and creatures that otherwise would not have a voice. We also protect Western communities’ right to clean air, water, and land. When polluters violate the law, our attorneys take them to court. When government agencies fail to enforce our country’s environmental laws, we work with conservation groups and individuals to hold them accountable.

2. WELC gives a voice to the American West
WELC's talented lawyers and policy experts advocate for communities in the West. Whether petitioning an agency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, working with government leaders to incorporate climate change strategies into the way our public lands are managed or helping our conservation partners protect wildlife and wild places, we bring the necessary skills to advance conservation in the American West.

3. WELC leads conservation initiatives
We provide community-based collaboration to conservation groups, local governments, farmers, ranchers, hunters, and anglers so that every member of the community can enjoy viable, long-lasting solutions to today's environmental challenges. The Western Environmental Law Center provides free critical legal guidance to grassroots groups and coalitions ensuring that their voices are heard in the management of their public lands and communities.