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Our Challenge

The Importance of Wild

Why Wild is Important

We live in a place that is irreplaceably wild, yet our home is rapidly changing. With increasing population and development, a steady influx of tourists, and more extreme weather—our wild lands and waters are at great risk of irreversible changes.

Today, there is overwhelming pressure being placed on our natural systems for clean water, fresh air, nutrient-rich foods, jobs, and outdoor recreation – all required for our existence. Conserving wild lands and estuaries, abundant agricultural lands , and all of the natural resources they provide, helps maintain balance between nature and humankind. This conservation work is critical to reduce the impacts of a changing climate and ensure an evolving, sustainable, and healthy livelihood for ourselves and generations to come.

“The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces, or at least not try to defy them.” – Paul Hawken

Wild Rivers Land Trust takes its name from the hallmark of our coast—wild, free-flowing rivers—one of the last truly wild and intact coastal regions on the Oregon Coast. Here a network of rivers and streams support world-class recreational and commercial fisheries, working ports, endangered salmon runs, enormous sand dunes, and a unique ecological system found nowhere else on the planet. 

WRLT’s 2.3 million-acre service area stretches from summit to sea stacks, from Tenmile Lakes at Lakeside to the California border south of Brookings, and from the Pacific Ocean to the upland forest headwaters of most of our region’s coastal rivers. The area we serve encompasses vast seascapes, multi-generational ranches, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, ancient forests, and numerous town sites within Coos and Curry counties.

This corner of Oregon is a special place—not only are there amazing wild rivers, but our region contains some of the last strongholds of ancient forests, thousands of acres of wetlands, and over 100 miles of stunningly beautiful coastline. It’s a dynamic place to call home, full of unique plants, animals, and hard-working people that are well-connected by our shared natural world.  

Our Challenge

Keeping habitat wild for species that are threatened or endangered ensures they will reproduce and continue to exist. If lands are overdeveloped and habit destroyed, we will be removing those  species that  are indicators of the health of the planet. As Robin Wall Kimmerer states in her book:

“It is the intertwining of science, spirit and story – old stories and new ones that can be medicine for our broken relationship with earth, a pharmacopeia of healing stories that allow us to imagine a different relationship, in which people and land are good medicine for each other.” – from Braiding Sweetgrass

This list represents some of the wildlife in our area currently threatened or endangered. Their survival depends on protection of their habitat and how humans will mitigate climate changes. 

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