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Wilderness Workshop

Wilderness Workshop is a Colorado-based environmental advocacy organization that opposes resource development on public lands. The organization is known for frequently suing the federal government over land-use policies in Colorado.

The organization’s focus is the White River National Forest in Colorado. The organization works to keep the forest and its nearby lands “as is” and is opposed to any development in the area. The group also works to oppose human development on lands all over North America.

Organization Focuses

Wilderness Workshop opposes oil and gas drilling. The organization has filed lawsuits against the federal government and lobbies regulatory agencies to oppose oil and gas drilling on Colorado’s western slope. It also utilizes the mobilization of public opinion to promote its views. It also lobbied in support of the Obama administration’s Methane Waste Rule which increased restrictions on oil and gas drilling. It also opposes the transfer of oil and gas management to the states. [1]

The organization works to protect the White River National Forest by opposing the construction of new dams in the area. It also supports efforts to restore habitat in the forest. [2]

The organization also opposes development in the Thompson Divide. It opposes road construction and oil and gas drilling in the area. It has filed lawsuits against the Bureau of Land Management to oppose the granting of oil and gas leases. [3]

Lawsuits

In 2017, Wilderness Workshop joined other environmentalist organizations and sued the federal government over the Trump administration’s decision to reverse an Obama administration rule against methane waste. The National Wildlife Federation and the Western Environmental Law Center were among the organizations that joined the lawsuit. In 2020, the Obama administration rule was reinstated by a federal judge saying the rule was rescinded illegally. [4] [5]

Leadership

Will Roush currently serves as the executive director of Wilderness Workshop. He has been with the organization since 2009 when he was hired to inventory lands for citizen wilderness proposals. He then worked in outreach and advocacy for the organization’s federal lands policy work and successfully led efforts to oppose dams on Castle and Maroon Creeks. Before becoming executive director, Will worked as Wilderness Workshop’s conservation director for four years. [6]

Juli Slivka serves as the conservation director. She has been involved with the organization since 2019. [7]

Beatriz Soto serves as the Latino outreach director. She has been involved with the organization since 2018. Previously, she has worked in both the U.S. and Mexico. [8]

Peter Hart is the staff attorney of the organization. Most of his work is related to the National Environmental Policy Act. He previously clerked for the water rights division of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, worked on endangered species at the University of Denver Environmental Law Clinic, and worked on toxic tort litigation at a Denver law firm. [9]

Financials

According to Wilderness Workshop’s 2018 tax returns, the organization raised $816,420 and spent $822,534. [10]

References

  1.        “Oil & Gas Defense”. 2020. Wilderness Workshop. Accessed August 17. https://wildernessworkshop.org/oil-gas-defense/. ^
  2.      “Forests”. 2020. Wilderness Workshop. Accessed August 17. https://wildernessworkshop.org/forests/. ^
  3. “Thompson Divide”. 2020. Wilderness Workshop. Accessed August 17. https://wildernessworkshop.org/thompson-divide/. ^
  4. Stewart-Severy, Elizabeth. 2017. “Wilderness Workshop, Other Environmental Groups Sue BLM Over Methane”. Aspen Public Radio. https://www.aspenpublicradio.org/post/wilderness-workshop-other-environmental-groups-sue-blm-over-methane. ^
  5.     Kandel, Alan. 2020. “Federal Court Judge Reinstates Methane-Waste Rule; BLM Rule-Rescission-Attempt Fails”. Science Blog. https://scienceblog.com/517694/federal-court-judge-reinstates-methane-waste-rule-blm-rule-rescission-attempt-fails/. ^
  6. “Meet Our Staff”. 2020. Wilderness Workshop. Accessed August 17. https://wildernessworkshop.org/staff/. ^
  7. “Meet Our Staff”. 2020. Wilderness Workshop. Accessed August 17. https://wildernessworkshop.org/staff/. ^
  8. “Meet Our Staff”. 2020. Wilderness Workshop. Accessed August 17. https://wildernessworkshop.org/staff/. ^
  9. “Meet Our Staff”. 2020. Wilderness Workshop. Accessed August 17. https://wildernessworkshop.org/staff/. ^
  10. 2018 Form 990. 2018. Ebook. https://pdf.guidestar.org/PDF_Images/2018/741/900/2018-741900412-109244a8-9.pdf?_ga=2.221110303.644417183.1597682280-1729401998.1573449492. ^

Donor Organizations

  1. Patagonia Org (Non-profit)
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