WildLands Defense

Working to inspire and empower the preservation of wildlands and wildlife in the West.

Become a Member

WildLands Defense

Working to inspire and empower the preservation of wildlands and wildlife in the West.

Become a Member

WildLands Defense

Working to inspire and empower the preservation of wildlands and wildlife in the West.

Become a Member

Mission

WildLands Defense is dedicated to protecting and improving the ecological and aesthetic qualities of the wildlands and wildlife communities of the western United States for present and future generations. WLD does so by fostering the natural enjoyment and appreciation for wildlands habitats and wildlife by means of legal and administrative advocacy, wildland and wildlife monitoring and scientific research, and by supporting and empowering active public engagement.

Mystery Grand Canyon Animal Is a Gray Wolf—Can It Survive?

KAIBAB PLATEAU, Arizona—On a recent evening not long after dusk, Natalie Ertz stood in a meadow near the Grand Canyon’s north rim and howled like a wolf.

There was a good reason for the howl.

Ertz, the executive director of a nonprofit group called Wildlands Defense, was hoping to catch a glimpse of an animal that has been notoriously elusive here in recent days. . .

National Geographic Online

December 2014

Environmentalists Couldn’t Stop the Slaughter at Idaho’s Annual Coyote and Wolf Derby 

“The objective,” said Ertz, “is to be very much in their face, to let them know we’re out here on patrol, looking for violations of federal law. We want to project the image that we could be anywhere, everywhere.”

A related objective was to stand in open defiance of what Ertz described as “a culture of death.” …

Natalie [Ertz, WLD Executive Director) howled three times like a wolf and smiled…

Also read about WLD’s infiltration of the first annual derby in VICE Magazine: How to Kill a Wolf

VICE Magazine

January 2015

[Letter from Nevada] | The Great Republican Land Heist by Christopher Ketcham

[Brian] Ertz had grown up in Boise, and as a teenager his backyard was the wilderness of southern Idaho and northern Nevada, the vast Great Basin steppe that ecologists have come to call the sagebrush sea. . .

Ertz explained why the sage steppe was called a sea. “Because in the spring the new shoots on the sage, iridescent, light, and soft, bow in the wind and what that creates on the landscape is an evocation of the wind on the sea. And when the wind blows at dusk after the rain, there’s the sweetest smell.”. .

Harper's Magazine

February 2015

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On-the-ground presence. Extensive experience wielding media and law. Unparalleled conviction.

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Natalie Ertz

Natalie Ertz

Executive Director

Inspired by a howl with the late Phantom Hill Wolf Pack of central Idaho, Natalie Ertz has been tracking and monitoring wolves in the central Idaho backcountry for over six years.

During much of that time, Natalie served and learned from Lynne Stone of the Boulder-White Cloud Council providing oversight of the federal and state MANagement of wolves.

Natalie’s passion for wolves and public landscapes is inspired by a deep appreciation for the wild, an appreciation borne on-the-ground.

Brian Ertz

Brian Ertz

Board President

Brian Ertz is Natalie Ertz’s brother.  Brian is in his final year of law school, currently serves as the Chair of the Sierra Club’s National Grazing Team, Conservation Chair of the Sawtooth Group of the Sierra Club and previously spent 7 years as Media Director for Western Watersheds Project. Since that time Brian has consulted a variety of public interest environmental nonprofits on administrative, policy, and media advocacy.

Katie Fite

Katie Fite

Board Secretary

Katie Fite brings over 30 years of on-the-ground experience to WLD’s advocacy.

As Western Watersheds Project’s Biodiversity Director, Katie has monitored more public ground–from Modena to the Modoc to Mcdermitt, the Lemhis to Little Blue Table to the Little Lost to Leslie Gulch, from Jarbidge to Jump Creek to Jim Sage, the Pahsimeroi to the Pancake Range, Calico Mountains to Castleford–and brought more headache to those anti-environmental bureaucrats at BLM and Forest Service than arguably any other single person in the Western United States.

Deanna Meyer

Deanna Meyer

Board Director

Deanna Meyer is a small-scale goat and organic produce farmer who lives and grew up on the Colorado Front Range. Growing up Deanna delighted in her experience of the forest and of the short-grass prairie. Prairie dogs, hawks, eagles, snakes and myriad wildlife and wildland experiences characterize her remarkable love for the natural world.

Deanna’s activism includes extensive work community-organizing, challenging destructive Forest Service timber projects, and efforts to directly confront the ongoing extirpation of Black-tailed prairie dog colonies on the Colorado Front Range.