Natural ecosystems that keep California’s air and water clean and allow our economy to thrive are threatened by climate change, development and over use. They need space and protection. When we preserve wild spaces and rivers, we preserve the health of our planet, our economy and our own health.

The California Wilderness Coalition (CWC) protects the natural landscapes that make California unique, providing clean air and water, a home to wildlife, and a place for recreation and spiritual renewal. CWC is the only statewide organization dedicated to protecting and restoring California's wild places and native biodiversity. 

How CWC Works

We are grassroots organizers. We work with local communities to identify wild places that need protection, and then we build coalitions to support permanent protection for forests, mountains, rivers, deserts and other natural areas. Ultimately, we convince Congress to designate existing federal lands as wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers or national monuments so they can be preserved forever.

Our Campaigns to Save Wild Spaces

  • North Coast - There are few parts of California as beautiful, diverse and ecologically important as the North Coast. Stretching from Point Reyes to the Oregon border, this land of redwoods, fog, rain, salmon streams, rolling grasslands and pounding surf is magical. The CWC is spearheading a campaign to protect up to 405,000 acres of wilderness and important wild rivers like the upper South Fork Trinity River, the Little South Fork Elk River, the Mattole River and its tributaries, and Olema Creek in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

  • Central Coast - California’s Central Coast is known for its iconic oak woodlands, chaparral-draped coastal mountains, and the awe-inspiring Channel Islands. The region includes the Los Padres National Forest, California’s second largest national forest. The forest extends nearly 220 miles across the scenic Coast and Transverse Mountain Ranges, rising from the Pacific Ocean to over 8,800 feet in elevation. The California Wilderness Coalition's (CWC) Central Coast Wild Heritage Campaign seeks to protect over 300,000 acres of wild lands and more than 250 miles of rivers in the Los Padres National Forest, Channel Islands National Park and the Carrizo Plain. 

  • California Desert - California’s Mojave, Sonoran, and Colorado deserts are among the most unique and ecologically important lands in the world. From painted mountains to hidden springs, from world-famous wildflowers to majestic herds of bighorn sheep, Americans have long been drawn to the dramatic beauty of California’s desert. We boast some of the most spectacular scenery in the nation, and that has made tourism and recreation an essential part of our local economy. The CWC is working with its allies to build on the success of the California Desert Protection Act of 1994 in preserving spectacular desert lands and boosting the local economy.

  • San Gabriel Mountains - The spectacular San Gabriel Mountains are the iconic landmark of the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests. Stretching from Santa Clarita to San Bernardino, the San Gabriel Mountains are the recreational "backyard" for more than 17 million Southern Californians. The CWC is working to designate 45,000 acres as wilderness and three rivers and creeks as wild and scenic. Coalition partners are working to set aside 600,000 acres as a national recreation area.