Non-profit

Western Environmental Law Center

Website:

westernlaw.org/

Location:

EUGENE, OR

Tax ID:

93-1010269

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $3,133,128
Expenses: $2,183,909
Assets: $2,431,654

Western Environmental Law Center is a left-wing law firm that works on environmental issues. The firm sues to oppose the exploitation of natural resources such as mining or logging, works to prevent the loss of wildlife, and works to prevent the exploitation of conventional energy resources to prevent climate change.

The organization works in the western United States. It has a focus in the Rocky Mountain region.

Overview

The Western Environmental Law Center works on environmental-related litigation in the western United States. It has an emphasis on the Rocky Mountain region. [1]

The three major areas of work are defending wildlands, protecting wildlife, and preventing climate change. Much of the work involves opposing the exploitation of natural resources such as opposing mining and logging on public lands. It also opposes the production of conventional fuels, believing those contribute to climate change. [2]

WELC has offices in Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, and Montana. [3]

Staff

Erik Schlenker-Goodrich is the executive director of Western Environmental Law Center. He joined the staff as an attorney in 2003. He became the executive director in 2012. Previously, he was the public lands attorney for the Wilderness Society. [4]

Matthew Bishop is an attorney and the Rocky Mountains Office Director. He joined WELC in 1998 and spent his first decade working from the office in New Mexico. He returned to Montana in 2008 and established the Rocky Mountains office. [5]

Susan Jane Brown is an attorney and the Public Lands and Wildlife Director. She joined WELC in 2009. Previously, she was the natural resources counsel for U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR). Before that, she worked as a staff attorney for the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, Lewis and Clark Law School’s environmental law clinic. [6]

David Lawlor is the development director. He joined WELC in 2013. Previously, he worked for Earthjustice and the Environmental Protection Information Center. [7]

Kyle Tisdel is an attorney and climate and energy director. He joined WELC in 2011 as a staff attorney. [8]

Karen Sheldon is the president of the board. She is a former president of the Wilderness Society and served as an attorney for Earthjustice and worked with Ralph Nader. [9]

History

Western Environmental Law Center originated as a law clinic at the University of Oregon. After the Oregon legislature threatened to shut down of the clinic after it challenged timber sales in Oregon to protect the spotted owl, the law clinic moved off campus. [10]

WELC has spread out all over the west first to New Mexico, then to Montana, and then to Washington. Since it became an independent organization, it had represented hundreds of environmentalist organizations and individuals in lawsuits. [11]

Funding

WELC does not charge its clients for its work. Instead, WELC solicits money from partners and donors. [12] Notable major institutional donors to WELC include the Educational Foundation of America, Wilburforce Foundation, Deer Creek Foundation, the Campion Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. [13]

As of the 2017 Form 990, it had $3.1 million in revenue coming from $2.1 million in contributions and less than $1 million in program service revenue. It spent $2.1 million on expenses, which principally went to supporting various lawsuits. [14]

It gave a $7,000 grant to Cascadia Wildlands in 2017. [15]

References

  1.           “Our Work”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/our-work/. ^
  2. “Our Work”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/our-work/. ^
  3. “Our Work”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/our-work/. ^
  4. “Western Environmental Law Center Staff”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/about-us/staff/. ^
  5. “Western Environmental Law Center Staff”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/about-us/staff/. ^
  6. “Western Environmental Law Center Staff”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/about-us/staff/. ^
  7. “Western Environmental Law Center Staff”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/about-us/staff/. ^
  8. “Western Environmental Law Center Staff”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/about-us/staff/. ^
  9. “Western Environmental Law Center Staff”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/about-us/staff/. ^
  10. “Our History”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/about-us/our-history/. ^
  11. “Our History”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/about-us/our-history/ ^
  12. “Our Work”. 2020. Western Environmental Law Center. Accessed January 27. https://westernlaw.org/our-work/. ^
  13. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted January 28, 2020. ^
  14. Form 990. 2017. Ebook. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2017/931/010/2017-931010269-0fd13805-9.pdf. ^
  15. Form 990. 2017. Ebook. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2017/931/010/2017-931010269-0fd13805-9.pdf. ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. Protect NEPA
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1994

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $3,133,128 $2,183,909 $2,431,654 $121,423 N $2,166,795 $961,860 $4,416 $215,267
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,965,865 $1,774,382 $1,432,025 $75,910 N $1,302,804 $661,183 $3,630 $196,680
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,766,041 $1,715,208 $1,232,277 $69,219 N $1,174,761 $587,542 $3,738 $181,562 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,887,189 $1,492,665 $1,208,466 $96,054 N $1,229,254 $652,622 $5,313 $172,596 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,680,665 $1,554,078 $792,454 $74,822 N $1,212,905 $463,298 $5,370 $168,048 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,494,209 $1,963,143 $718,160 $129,434 N $1,209,676 $283,343 $6,447 $281,592 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,778,230 $1,916,016 $1,225,357 $170,631 N $1,163,042 $604,566 $12,803 $228,626 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Western Environmental Law Center

    120 SHELTON MCMURPHEY BLVD STE 340
    EUGENE, OR 97401-8718