WildEarth Guardians

WildEarth Guardians works to protect and restore the wildlife, wild rivers, wild places, and health of the American West, including in Colorado, where our bold and creative advocacy, education, and legal actions are protecting the wild things and places we care about most in this great state.

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General Information

Official Name
Wildearth Guardians​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
(2008)Forest Guardians
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
301 N. Guadalupe, Suite 201
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Colorado Location
3798 Marshall St. Suite 8
Wheatridge, CO 80033
Mailing Address
Other Address
Main Phone Number
Voice Calls Only
Fax Number
Other Phone Number
Voice Calls Only
Social Media Links

Mission Statement

WildEarth Guardians protects and restores the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and the health of the American West.


Organization History

Founded as Forest Guardians in 1989, the original mission of WildEarth Guardians' grassroots effort was to fight a logging project on northern New Mexico's Elk Mountain. As the evidence of environmental threats continued, the efforts of the Guardians expanded.

In addition to fighting logging projects, Guardians began to take on public lands livestock grazing industry. Seeing the devastation that cattle wreak on the southwest's precious waterways, the organization launched a campaign to out-compete public lands ranchers for leases. Once we obtained the leases, we fenced out the cattle, removed non-native invasive vegetation, and planted native cottonwood and willow trees that allow waterways to thrive and wildlife habitat to be reborn.

In 1996, when a decade-long drought began in New Mexico and more than 10,000 Rio Grande silvery minnows died because the Rio Grande went completely dry for 60 miles, the organization took on river issues and began a campaign to advocate for water policy reform.

Though Guardians has been focused on endangered species issues from the beginning because of the inextricable link between the endangered Mexican spotted owl and its threatened forest home, Guardians launched an official endangered species program in 2001 to address the growing biodiversity crisis.

In 2007, the Guardians formed a Climate and Energy program because the American West had become ground zero for new fossil fuel extraction and oil and gas development on public lands significantly threatens wildlife and wild places.

In 2008, Forest Guardians merged with a carnivore protection non-profit, Sinapu, from Boulder, CO and became WildEarth Guardians.

In 2013, WildEarth Guardians merged with Wildlands CPR, a Missoula, MT-based non-profit with a 20-year history of protecting and restoring healthy watersheds from the threats of roads and motorized recreation. The 2013 merger provided a significant boost to WildEarth Guardians' mounting efforts to protect wildlife and wild places, and to confront fossil fuel development in Montana and the Northern Rockies while linking that work to other conservation campaigns throughout the American West. In the same year we also merged with Utah Environmental Coalition (UEC), a 15-year old Utah-based non-profit with a strong track record of being a voice for Utah's forests and wildlife.

Though we have significantly expanded our scope over the years, Guardians' core mission to confront the threats facing the beauty and diversity of the American West has not changed. We've added an in-house legal team that works closely with our program directors to reform policy and uphold environmental laws. In addition, our program directors use public awareness campaigns and political pressure to protect wildlife, wild places, and wild rivers.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.