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WildWest Institute
P.O. Box 7998
Missoula, MT 59807
P: 406.396.0321

Ecosytem Defense Program

Our Ecosystem Defense Program develops and implements strategies to ensure that the government follows the law when managing our public forests and wildlands. With the assistance of WildWest's biologist and forest ecologist, we stay abreast of, and seek out, the latest scientific research on forest and fire management, biological diversity and ecologically-based restoration. We also strive to get on-the-ground and monitor all project areas to gather site-specific information. We then provide this research and information to specialists within government agencies so that the best-available science and site-specific information is incorporated into public land management decisions.

The WildWest Institute has been a national leader in developing administrative and legal strategies that challenge the U.S. Forest Service for their pattern of failure to comply with ecological protection requirements within federal forest plans and other statutes. We are a leading public lands watchdog, working on nearly 20 National Forests in the Northern Rockies Bioregion. In fact, many of the most significant, precedent-setting legal victories that have protected old-growth forests, roadless wildlands, clean water and wildlife habitat have been due to our work.

This is a crucial time for public lands. The first generation of forest plans that were developed in the late 1980s have largely expired and are awaiting revisions using the weakened National Forest Management Act regulations that were recently adopted by the Bush Administration. These new forest plans will shape how our public forests and wildlands are managed for the foreseeable future. We are currently mounting a set of region-wide legal challenges that will force the agency to include enforceable standards for protection of old-growth forests, sensitive species and soil productivity in the new forest plans.

For more information, call WildWest at 406.396.0321 or info@wildwestinstitute.org.

WildWest Institute's Science Spotlight
A sampling of new scientific research and findings on issues such as forest and fire management, biological diversity and ecologically-based restoration as part of the WildWest Institute's on-going efforts to ensure that the best available science guides the management of our public lands.