Founded in 1974 as the Oregon Wilderness Coalition (and known as the Oregon Natural Resources Council or ONRC), Oregon Wild has been instrumental in securing permanent legislative protection for some of Oregon’s most precious landscapes, including approximately 1.7 million acres of Wilderness (for iconic places like Mount Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, Opal Creek, Strawberry Mountain, and the North Fork John Day), 95,000 acres of forests in Bull Run/Little Sandy watersheds to safeguard the quality of Portland’s water supply, and 2,200 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers. As a leader of the national grassroots charge for conservation of roadless areas in our national forests, Oregon Wild helped secure administrative protections for more than 58 million acres areas nationally.
We currently have campaigns seeking permanent Wilderness protection for unprotected landscapes like central Oregon's Ochoco Mountains and 500,000+ acres of wildlands in and around Crater Lake National Park. Also, in early 2019, Oregon Wild helped to secure the first new permanent Wilderness protections in Oregon since 2009. The passage of the Oregon Wildlands Act (SB 1548) designated approximately 30,000 acres of old-growth and mature forests in the central Oregon Coast Range as the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness. The legislation also included 256 miles of new Wild & Scenic River protections – including a 21.3-mile stretch of the Molalla River and many of the main tributaries of the iconic Rogue River!
Today, we are a leading voice for defending our public lands and the last of our ancient forests. Additionally, we continue to be a strong advocate for protecting native Oregon wildlife such as the marbled murrelet, the Pacific marten, sea otters, and gray wolves. With a statewide staff of 14 and an expansive grassroots organizing capacity our of our Portland, Eugene, and Bend offices, our strength continues to be in our active grassroots citizen network of 18,000+ supporters. We’ve been called “Oregon’s most effective environmental group” by both The Oregonian and the Salem Statesman Journal.