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Focus Area

Wild Lands

Earthjustice is protecting ecosystems and iconic landscapes so that our magnificent wild lands stay wild enough to support wildlife — and people.
Boris Z. / Shutterstock


The evolution of dynamic wild ecosystems unfolds over centuries—but it takes far less time to destroy them. In just a few generations, certain industries have laid waste to old-growth forest, polluted and drained mighty rivers and erected mechanical giants to drill the earth for fossil fuel. What’s been lost in the process—clean water, key wildlife habitat, the opportunity for solitude—cannot be restored to its original state. As climate change intensifies, these wild refuges are more important than ever, which is why we fight to protect our wild lands.


  • PRESERVING TREASURED WILD PLACES through litigation that ensures large tracts of wild land and water are preserved for future generations of people and wildlife.
  • REDUCING STRESSORS like development, drilling, deforestation and other destruction to build resilient ecosystems that can withstand climate change.


In 2012, Earthjustice’s determined litigation and advocacy campaign to protect more than 50 million acres of wild, roadless lands finally paid off in full—more than a decade after the first lawsuit. Along with many allies, we defended the Clinton-era Roadless Rule through a torrent of legal challenges and attempts to dismantle its protections for our national forests. These landmark victories preserve the sanctity and wild character of a vast amount of land for future generations to enjoy.

"Wilderness and wild things are not merely to be enjoyed on summer backpacking trips—they also must be defended." – Tim Preso, Managing Attorney of Northern Rockies office

We're the lawyers for the environment, and the law is on our side.

By the Places

Wordcloud depicting some of the places Earthjustice has worked to save.

Since our founding in 1971, Earthjustice has worked to sustain wild lands and watersheds, from the Crown of the Continent to the southwest's Otero Mesa to many, many more. Our successes benefit entire ecosystems—the web of life in which each species is intricately interconnected.