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Environmental Law Group

The University of Montana

National Environmental Groups

Below are links to organizations that are addressing environmental issues. The organizations' political and environmental philosophies range from the extreme right to the far left.  The ELG and the University of Montana School of Law do not necessarily endorse any of these organizations or their respective policies.

American Land Rights Association
The American Land Rights Association (ALRA) is a grassroots, non-profit organization advocating private property rights and multiple use of federal lands including recreational and commercial access. ALRA is engaged in issues such as compensation for government takings of property, defending cabin permittees and inholders of private property within federal lands such as national parks and national forests, opposition to land acquisition trust funds such as the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA), and support for rural communities. 

American Rivers
American Rivers is a national non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring America's rivers and to fostering a river stewardship ethic.

Clean Water Network
The Clean Water Network (CWN) is an alliance of more than 1,000 organizations that endorse its platform paper, the National Agenda for Clean Water, which outlines the need for strong clean water safeguards to protect human health and the environment. CWN includes a variety of organizations representing environmentalists, family farmers, recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, surfers, boaters, faith communities, environmental justice advocates, labor unions, and civic associations.

Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)
The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) was created to offer a new voice on consumer and environmental issues. The Committee boldly proclaims that the Western values of competition, progress, freedom, and stewardship can and do offer the best hope for protecting not only the earth and its wildlife, but even more importantly, its people. So therefore, CFACT is working to promote free-market and safe technological solutions to such growing concerns as waste-management, food production and processing, electrical generation, air and water quality, wildlife protection and much more

The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund forges partnerships to protect America's legacy of land and water resources. Through land acquisition, community initiatives, and leadership training, the Fund and its partners demonstrate sustainable conservation solutions emphasizing the integration of economic and environmental goals.

Conservation International
Conservation International's mission is to conserve the Earth's living natural heritage, our global diversity, and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature.

Defenders of Wildlife
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. We focus our programs on what scientists consider two of the most serious environmental threats to the planet: the accelerating rate of extinction of species and the associated loss of biological diversity, and habitat alteration and destruction.

Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network is the nonprofit coordinating body of worldwide Earth Day activities. Our goal is to promote a healthy environment and a peaceful, just, sustainable world by spreading environmental awareness through educational materials and publications, and by organizing events, activities, and annual campaigns. Our network includes more than 5,000 organizations in 184 countries.

Earth First!
Earth First! was founded in 1979 in response to a lethargic, compromising, and increasingly corporate environmental community. Earth First! takes a decidedly different tack towards environmental issues. We believe in using all the tools in the tool box, ranging from grassroots organizing and involvement in the legal process to civil disobedience and monkeywrenching.

Endangered Species Coalition
As the guardian of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), the Endangered Species Coalition (ESC) speaks on endangered species issues for over 440 environmental, conservation, religious, scientific, humane, sporting and business groups around the country. Our tools are public education, scientific information and public participation in all decisions affecting the fate of threatened and endangered species. Through extensive grassroots work, education, discussions with lawmakers, and the dissemination of information, we work to ensure that the Act itself as well as the species it protects, can be passed on safely into the future.

Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Defense is a not-for-profit environmental advocacy group with four main goals: (1) Stabilizing the Earth's climate, (2) Safeguarding the world's oceans, (3) Protecting human health, and (4) Defending and restoring biodiversity. We start with rigorous science. Then we work directly with businesses, government and communities. Together, we create lasting solutions to the most serious environmental problems.

Environmental Organization WebDirectory
Earth's Biggest Environment Search Engine

Environmental Working Group
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a leading content provider for public interest groups and concerned citizens who are campaigning to protect the environment

Foundation for Research on Economics & the Environment (FREE)
FREE advances conservation and environmental values by applying modern science and America's founding ideals to policy debates. We are intellectual entrepreneurs, explaining how economic incentives, secure property rights, and responsible prosperity can foster a healthy environment. While our seminars are explicitly pro-environment, they explain why ecological values are not the only important ones. We stress that trade-offs among competing values are inescapable. We show why it is ethically and materially irresponsible to pretend such choices can be avoided.

Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth and our network of grassroots groups in 77 countries defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world. We're progressive environmental advocates who pull no punches and speak sometimes uncomfortable truths to power. It's an approach that for four decades has yielded victories protecting our planet and its people.

Our core values are reflected in our environmental campaign work: We 'bear witness' to environmental destruction in a peaceful, non-violent manner. We use non-violent confrontation to raise the level and quality of public debate. In exposing threats to the environment and finding solutions we have no permanent allies or adversaries. We ensure our financial independence from political or commercial interests. We seek solutions to environmental dilemmas and promote open, informed debate about society's environmental choices.

League of Conservation Voters
The League of Conservation Voters works to create a Congress more responsive to your environmental concerns. As the nonpartisan political voice for over nine million members of environmental and conservation groups, LCV is the only national environmental organization dedicated full-time to educating citizens about the environmental voting records of Members of Congress.

National Audubon Society
The mission of the National Audubon Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds and other wildlife for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. Founded in 1905, the National Audubon Society is named for John James Audubon (1785-1851), famed ornithologist, explorer, and wildlife artist.

National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition
The National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition is a broad based coalition of roughly 150 member organizations, representing millions of individuals across the United States, that is dedicated to bringing balance back to the Endangered Species Act. Our membership includes rural irrigators, municipalities, farmers, electric utilities and many other individuals and organizations that are directly affected by the ESA.

National Environmental Trust
The National Environmental Trust is a non-profit, non-partisan membership group established in 1994 to inform citizens about environmental problems and how they affect our health and quality of life.

National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the National Parks Conservation Association has been the sole voice of the American people in the fight to safeguard the scenic beauty, wildlife, and historical and cultural treasures of the largest and most diverse park system in the world.
Originally created as a watchdog for the National Park Service, today NPCA partners with the federal government and numerous national, regional, and local groups to act

Natural Resources Defense Council
NRDC is the nation's most effective environmental action organization. We use law, science and the support of 1.3 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. NRDC was founded in 1970 by a group of law students and attorneys at the forefront of the environmental movement. NRDC lawyers helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws. Today, our staff of more than 300 lawyers, scientists and policy experts -- a MacArthur "genius" award-winner among them -- work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

National Wilderness Institute
Conservative environmental think tank.

National Wildlife Federation
The mission of the National Wildlife Federation is to educate, inspire and assist individuals and organizations of diverse cultures to conserve wildlife and other natural resources and to protect the Earth's environment in order to achieve a peaceful, equitable and sustainable future. National Wildlife Federation's main goal is to raise awareness and involve people of all ages in their fight to conserve and protect the environment.

Nature Conservancy
Since 1951, we've been working with communities, businesses and people like you to protect more than 100 million acres around the world. Our Mission: To preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

PERC (The Political Economy Research Center)
PERC (The Political Economy Research Center) is the nation's oldest and largest institute dedicated to original research that brings market principles to resolving environmental problems. PERC, located in Bozeman, Montana, pioneered the approach known as free market environmentalism.

Public Interest Research Group
The state Public Interest Research Groups are an alliance of state-based, citizen-funded organizations that advocate for the public interest. We uncover threats to public health and well-being and fight to end them, using the time-tested tools of investigative research, media exposes, grassroots organizing, advocacy and litigation. The state PIRGs' mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented activism that protects the environment, encourages a fair marketplace for consumers and fosters responsive, democratic government.

Rainforest Action Network
Rainforest Action Network works to protect the Earth's rainforests and support the rights of their inhabitants through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action.

Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of tropical forests for the benefit of the global community. Our mission is to develop and promote economically viable and socially desirable alternatives to the destruction of this endangered, biologically diverse natural resource. We pursue this mission through education, research in the social and natural sciences, and the establishment of cooperative partnerships with businesses, governments, and local peoples.

REP (Republicans for Environmental Protection)
REP America was formed in 1995 to resurrect the GOP's great conservation tradition and to restore natural resource conservation and sound environmental protection as fundamental elements of the Republican Party's vision for America.

Science & Environmental Policy Project
The Science & Environmental Policy Project was founded in 1990 by atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer on the premise that sound, credible science must form the basis for health and environmental decisions that affect millions of people and cost tens of billions of dollars every year.

Sierra Club
The Sierra Club has over 700,000 members. Our mission statement:

  • Explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth.
  • Practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources.
  • Educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.
  • Use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.

Wilderness Society
Since 1935, The Wilderness Society has led the conservation movement in wilderness protection, writing and passing the landmark Wilderness Act and winning lasting protection for 109 million acres of Wilderness, including 56 million acres of spectacular lands in Alaska, eight million acres of fragile desert lands in California and millions more throughout the nation. To meet our goals, we use science and collaboration with communities and conservation groups to bring about sensible policies and positive change in land conservation.

World Resources Institute
Our mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. We organize around four programatic goals: Climate change. Protect the global climate system from further harm due to emissions of greenhouse gases and help humanity and the natural world adapt to unavoidable climate change; Governance. Empower people and support institutions to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable decision-making; Markets and Enterprise. Harness markets and enterprise to expand economic opportunity and protect the environment; and, People and Ecosystems. Reverse rapid degradation of ecosystems and assure their capacity to provide humans with needed goods and services.

World Wildlife Federation
Known worldwide by its panda logo, WWF is the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organization with 4.7 million supporters and a global network active in some 100 countries. WWF's mission is to protect nature and the biological diversity that we all need to survive.

(updated 2/20/10)


The University of Montana School of Law
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