The West is our passion, and there is no doubt that climate change and its impacts are the biggest environmental threats we have faced during our 30+ year history. Fortunately, that history has also taught us valuable lessons — that smart, science-based action taken by states can be a powerful driver of change, significantly reducing carbon emissions and creating sustainable protections for rivers and lands in the face of climate change.
WRA has over 70 staff working across seven states in the Interior West — some have been in the region for generations, others are new arrivals. We are all rooted in and have love for our communities, recreate on the lands we work to protect, and see firsthand the consequences of the climate crisis.
Three Decades of Experience
We have more than three decades of experience driving just such policy action to effectively address complex conservation problems. By integrating climate science and effective conservation measures into state policies and plans, and ensuring their implementation to achieve measurable outcomes, we can and have made meaningful and timely impact for this place we love. In fact, the most substantive progress on climate change and its effects has happened at the state level.
Lessons from the Climate Fix
In 2018, WRA launched The Climate Fix — our seven-year plan to lock in commitments by 2030 to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions of 105 million tons from the power sector (51% below 2016 levels). WRA has secured reductions for 76 million tons of greenhouse emissions in the last five years, and we know even more progress is ahead. We also learned other valuable lessons that we are using to plan our work over the next three years:
Start small to go big.
Solutions to a large-scale problem start by moving the right lever to force change. With proof of concept, the approach can then be a model applied to other complex challenges.
Play to your strengths.
WRA’s impact comes from our ability to develop and drive science-based, state policies in key decision-making forums. As one of the few organizations that works across varied decision-making settings, WRA is uniquely positioned to create profound progress, long-term change, and to hold decision makers accountable.
Urgency requires accountability.
Achieving large and complex goals requires setting and meeting specific targets and milestones to stay on track and gain momentum towards achieving large scale change across the region.
Clean energy is only part of the solution.
The impacts of climate change are far-reaching and will require multiple solutions, calling us to use all available resources as well as learn from and duplicate successful models.
Our Path Forward
WRA’s new strategic plan utilizes these lessons to evolve and scale all of our work across the West and to double down on climate change. In the next three years, we will drive state action to continue to significantly reduce carbon emissions and create sustainable protections for rivers and lands in the face of the climate crisis. You can count on WRA to work diligently as a climate leader who drives quantifiable reductions and impressive outcomes — our collective future depends on it.