NRDC’s work in the Rockies focuses on preserving the region’s wild character while promoting sustainable development and clean energy innovation in its growing communities. In Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado, many of our top priorities—from tackling climate change to defending endangered species—are coming to a head.
NRDC marshals local support to create breakthroughs in wildlife protection and agricultural practices as well as clean energy and transportation policies. Our attorneys regularly head to court to stop the reckless extraction of oil, coal, and natural gas from public lands and to protect the health of vulnerable communities in this culturally and ecologically rich area of America.
Some of our accomplishments:
- NRDC collaborates with ranchers, government agencies, and conservationists to implement on-the-ground projects in Idaho, Montana, and surrounding states that preserve livestock and property, all while protecting apex species like wolves and bears.
- In Denver, through the Food Matters project, NRDC advocates are working with city agencies and local partners to enact innovative solutions and strategies to prevent food from being wasted, to rescue surplus food for those in need, and to recycle food scraps.
- With the American Cities Climate Challenge, NRDC is helping Denver to execute key elements of its Carbon Action Plan, which aims to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2050. In particular, NRDC and other Challenge partners are working with the city to expand vehicle electrification, improve and add high-frequency transit lines, redesign streets to prioritize safety for walking and biking, and increase public transit ridership.
- NRDC experts are also working with business and government leaders across Colorado to support transportation policies that improve air quality. With a coalition of health and consumer groups, we promote expanding access to electric vehicles and public transit in the state through investments, policies, and tax credits.
- We successfully sued to halt the opening of the Powder River Basin, in Montana and Wyoming, to new coal leasing. We’re taking the Bureau of Land Management to court to block new mining outside Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park. We’re also suing to require the consideration of health impacts in new drilling proposals in Colorado.
- NRDC is standing by indigenous communities to defend Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah and to challenge President Trump’s proclamation that eliminates their protections.
- As more and more people demand a clean energy economy, NRDC is advocating for policies that increase energy efficiency savings for residents and cut carbon across all sectors. We are also holding utilities accountable as partners in a just transition—ensuring communities like Colstrip, Montana, aren’t left behind when a local coal-fired power plant becomes uneconomical.