Using the best available science to achieve conservation goals
Rocky Mountain Wild is a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that was formed after merging both the Center for Native Ecosystems and Colorado Wild. Rocky Mountain Wild serves the Southern Rocky Mountain region by working to protect, connect and restore wildlife, including its wildlands. For the last 15 years, Rocky Mountain Wild has lead the way to protect the biodiversity of the region.
Serving the southern Rocky Mountain region, Rocky Mountain Wild protects an expanse terrain. With over 22 million acres of public land and 54 peaks soaring above 14,000 feet, the region encompasses some of the best remaining habitat in the lower 48 states. From mountains and high desert mesas to red rock canyons and golden prairies, the region is a biological gem and it is all they focus on.
Rocky Mountain Wild works with a team of conservation biologists, geographic information systems (GIS) specialist and attorneys that are active participants in the scientific community; they present at conferences, write reports and articles, and engage in direct research to fill the gaps in the scientific records as needed. At Rocky Mountain Wild, they use the best available science to achieve determined conservation goals.
The time invested by Rocky Mountain Wild has secured the Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for the following animals:
- Canada lynx
- Gunnison sage-grouse
- Preble’s meadow jumping mouse
Today, the work being done by Rocky Mountain Wild reaches well beyond what the current ESA listings are. Various species of fish, wildlife and plants in the United States have been rendered extinct as a consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation (ESA, 1973). Plant and animal species are disappearing at a rate 100 to 1,000 times faster than they did 200 years ago leading scientists to believe that we are on the verge of the 6th Mass Extinction (Ceballos, Ehrlich & Dirzo, 2017).
Conservation efforts are a number one priority for this team. Rocky Mountain Wild undertakes the following tasks:
- Preservation. Preserving habitats and conserving the diversity of native species which include by exercising forest planning, protecting areas of critical environmental concern (ACEC) and monitoring energy development. Rocky Mountain Wild also plays a big part in deterring developmental companies from digging for tar or oil rich deposits in hopes to preserve the region. Environmentally sensitive areas such as the Uintah Basin, home to dozens of rare plant species only grown in the area, is closely monitored.
- Restoration. Restoring environmental biomes and repairing migration corridors intersected by the development of highways and road projects. Rocky Mountain Wild is currently working on restoring the Wolf Creek Pass Wildlife corridor and the I-70 Mountain Corridor.
- Activism. Rocky Mountain Wild are proponents for a responsible and sustainable ecological ski industry. Their sights are set on ski area impacts and expansions, with an eye toward protecting critical wildlife habitats and corridors. From 2000 - 2013 Rocky Mountain Wild has helped research and publish the annual Ski Area Environmental Scorecard. This report helped thousands of skiers choose resorts that were actively working toward reducing their environmental impact.
Rocky Mountain Wild supports 100 Women for the Wild, concerned citizens with a variety of professions, who provide boots on the ground for projects led by the the NGO. 100 Women for the Wild members volunteer, donate and offer expertise help towards projects in the field. So far, this collective has helped protect and restore over 500 rare and imperiled plant and animal species in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico.
Together with volunteers, awareness and time, Rocky Mountain Wild will continue to push for the preservation and restoration of the southern Rocky Mountains. Rocky Mountain Wild envisions a biologically healthy future for the region --one that includes a diversity of species and ecosystem, thriving populations of wildlife and a sustainable coexistence between people and nature.To find out more about Rocky Mountain Wild, visit them here: www.rockymountainwild.org