Fighting climate change to sustain the environment, economy, and people of the West.

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The impacts of climate change are all around us.

As you travel throughout the West, you can see the natural environment hurting; the impacts of climate change are all around us. We see it in the aftermath of forest fires, in depleted rivers, in longer summers and warmer winters. Our communities don’t exist in harmony with the land nor in balance with the people that were here long before us, who are still often ignored or left out of climate solutions.

At WRA, we are driving evidence-based solutions to the climate crisis, bringing experts, decision makers, and advocates together to protect and sustain the environment, economy, and people of the Interior West. From our in-depth, science-based policy analysis to our highly effective legal strategies, we’re using every possible tool to avert the worst impacts of climate change for our communities and future generations.

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If we do not protect 50% of the West’s land by 2050, we will lose one-fifth of its incredible biodiversity.

If we do not reduce deadly levels of climate pollution, we will continue to see premature death and disease, especially among those most vulnerable in our communities.

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If we do not drastically reduce our water demand and protect the Colorado River, we will see already decreasing flows diminish by another 30% by 2050.

Navajo Generating Station

If we do not reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, Western communities will suffer even greater devastating impacts of climate change.

Top Threats to the West

Find out how climate change affects the West.

drought

Our rivers are endangered and out-of-balance.

The West’s population is growing, while the amount of water in our rivers has diminished by almost 20% over the past 20 years. With further declines on the horizon, we need better ways to balance the demands of our communities, rivers, and wildlife habitat.

US Drought Monitor (Source: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Maps/MapArchive.aspx)
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Habitat loss is the primary threat to the survival of wildlife.

Rapid loss and degradation of wildlife habitat, exacerbated by climate change, is causing a global extinction crisis threatening the places and wildlife we love in the Interior West. We are losing one football-field worth of natural lands to development every 2.5 minutes, due to oil and gas development and suburban and ex-urban sprawl.

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Ecological regions of the Interior West. Source: US EPA
wildfire

Catastrophic wildfires have devastating effects on our communities.

Each year, more catastrophic blazes — unnaturally high-intensity fires — continue to break out across our region, creating impacts that range far beyond their burn scars and damage to communities. Fires of this nature continue to increase in number, size, and intensity. The probability of devastating wildfires in places like the Western U.S. could increase by one-third by 2050.

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Wildfire risk levels in August 2022. Source: NOAA
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Climate pollution is impacting our communities.

The impacts of carbon emissions have plagued communities across the West for decades. Living in the region has unfortunately come to mean living with climate pollution that threatens our health, our economy, and our environment. Climate pollution drives temperature increases, catastrophic wildfires and flooding and has made our communities and the people who live there more vulnerable. Climate pollution also creates conditions which increase the risk of unhealthy ozone levels in major urban areas around the West have been on the rise, and science tells us that exposure, even at relatively low levels, seriously compromises our health.

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Urban centers result in more significant air pollution.
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At Western Resource Advocates, our attorneys, scientists, policy experts, and engineers are taking on the biggest conservation challenges that are facing the West, and we’re winning.
Jon Goldin Dubois
President, Western Resource Advocates

“We have 3 young kids and giving them a healthy and beautiful world is important to us. We believe climate change is the greatest threat to their future and we wanted to do something to be part of the solution. We researched buying solar panels, but realized that we could leverage our money more effectively by donating to WRA.”

Erica C., Donor from Salt Lake City

“The West is home to millions of Americans, including many tribal nations with deep connections to the land since time immemorial. WRA recognizes that the environment and community are intrinsically connected. They are helping to lead the way to ensure that these homelands are protected for future generations.”

Heather Tanana, WRA Board Member

How will you help protect the West from climate change?

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