Oregon Wild works to protect and restore Oregon's wildlands, wildlife, and waters as an enduring legacy for future generations. That mission is a product of and is animated by our organizational values, outlined below.
We believe nature has value for its own sake
We all have a collective responsibility to keep landscapes ecologically intact, both to avoid human-caused extinction and to preserve the intricacies of the wild that allow it to function. We are humble in the face of complex systems that we may not fully understand and should not assume that we can control or dominate. Nature is not a garden to be tended but instead has a right to flourish on its own.
We believe in giving ‘em hell
We are tenacious and resolved. We are a thorn in the side of the powers that continue to exploit Oregon. We don’t back down from difficult fights and seemingly insurmountable challenges. We are not afraid to uncover important issues and expose those who would block progress. We’ve stuck around for nearly 50 years by being persistent, dogged, and scrappy.
We believe in evidence-based advocacy
We don’t fight for wild places, ancient forests, and native wildlife just for fun (although it often is!). We work to protect these things because the best available science tells us we must if we hope to keep Oregon’s ecological integrity intact. We recognize that scientific inquiry is a process with answers that evolve over time. This reminds us to be cautious in applying scientific results too quickly and too broadly. We believe that solid data mixed with traditional ecological knowledge almost always points us in the right direction.
We believe in a functioning and healthy representative democracy for all
People power matters more than the power of money. We believe grassroots action is the cornerstone of all societal change. The public has a right to transparent decision making informed by the views and desires of the public. Oregonians deserve fair elections and leaders who listen to them before listening to big donors.
We believe in the rule of law
Litigation is not a dirty word. The laws protecting endangered species, clean water, and wild forests should be vigorously enforced. And if those laws aren’t good enough, we should work hard to change them. We believe in equal access to justice - for people, for wildlife, and for communities disproportionately impacted by extractive industries. No one is above the law, and elected leaders should be held accountable for self-dealing and corruption.
We believe in standing for our principles - and getting results
We strive to be as collaborative as possible and as resolute as necessary in pursuing our mission. We seek to create strength by uniting diverse allies together around a cause, but we are not afraid to stand on an island for what is right. We will not let our desire for sweeping change stand in the way of real, but incremental progress, and we will not be seduced by easy compromise when we know fighting harder will lead to a better result. We understand that this might mean being called zealots and sell-outs on the same day.
We believe in dismantling racism - externally and internally
We know colonialism, unchecked capitalism, white supremacy, and other entrenched power structures have benefited a few at the expense of many, including the non-human species we share this region with. These forces have also determined who benefits and has access to our wild places - and who is welcome in the conversation around conservation. We seek to support initiatives led by historically marginalized communities while we learn and grow to become a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization.