“The Geography of Hope”
The western U.S. is defined by its natural heritage of wildlands, rivers, forests, and wildlife. Since our inception, we have used the law and the courts to preserve and restore these unique characteristics to ensure our region remains, as author Wallace Stegner wrote, “the geography of hope.”
Protecting Public Lands
Forests play a vital role as sources of clean drinking water, habitat for wildlife, and places for recreational and spiritual renewal for all people. Yet intact native forest ecosystems in the West are rare and quickly disappearing. Roughly less than 10% of pristine forests – interior western ponderosa pine ecosystems and coastal fir forests – remain unaffected by logging, roads, livestock grazing, or other disruptive activities.
The Western Environmental Law Center has a long history of advocating for the protection and restoration of our nation’s national forests. Our objective is to protect native old forests in the West; help restore logged or roaded forests through sensitive management, including prescribed fire; and prevent damaging salvage (post-fire) logging.
Clean, Free-Flowing Rivers
We focus on protecting and restoring rivers and watersheds that provide unique values in the West, including supporting wild salmon runs, providing clean drinking water, and supporting community recreation.
Our objective is to protect and restore clean free-flowing rivers by advocating for removing dams, ending damaging instream and riparian activities, and ensuring adequate flow.
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