Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Steve Hoffmeyer and our CMC Group Climbing Mt. of the Holy Cross - 08-07-2005 Wilderness Defense!
(1987 - 2002)
Entry Sign to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Area - 09-05-2005 The Wilderness Act was signed into law in 1964, resulting in the creation of the National Wilderness Preservation System. The statutory definition of Wilderness is found in Section 2(c) of the Wilderness Act: "A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."



"We need wilderness because we are wild animals. Every man needs a place where he can go to go crazy in peace. Every Boy Scout troop deserves a forest to get lost, miserable, and starving in. Even the maddest murderer of the sweetest wife should get a chance for a run to the sanctuary of the hills. If only for the sport of it. For the terror, freedom, and delerium..."
- Edward Abbey, from The Journey Home


"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste. And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it. Without any remaining wilderness we are committed wholly, without chance for even momentary reflection and rest, to a headlong drive into our technological termite-life, the Brave New World of a completely man-controlled environment. We need wilderness preserved--as much of it as is still left, and as many kinds--because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed. The reminder and the reassurance that it is still there is good for our spiritual health even if we never once in ten years set foot in it. It is good for us when we are young, because of the incomparable sanity it can bring briefly, as vacation and rest, into our insane lives. It is important to us when we are old simply because it is there--important, that is, simply as an idea."
- Wallace Stegner - December 3, 1960
(in his letter to the Wildland Research Center)


"The Wilderness can be unforgiving and dangerous, yet fill our souls with awe and wonder. It can overwhelm us with beauty and stun us with fear, lift our spirits to the highest highs and send us crashing to the floor of creation. The wilderness is a classroom where we learn to survive, thrive and sometimes die."
- Scott C. Hammond, PhD - on the back jacket of his book,
Lessons of the Lost (Finding Hope and Resilience in Work, Life, and the Wilderness)


Wilderness Defense!

Iztaccihuatl, 17,338 Feet Founded in 1987 by Doug Bloom, Donna Mills, and Roger J. Wendell, Wilderness Defense! was organized as a charitable, educational, and scientific organization. For a variety of reasons, in 2002, it was decided that the group would go into hiatus. However, the spirit of Wilderness Defense! lives on in all of us with its goals providing guidance in each of our separate paths. Specifically, the group's goals, as detailed in the original articles of incorporation, were always;

"To preserve and protect the natural environment and its accompanying geology, hydrology and biota - including wilderness, wildlife, paleontological and archaeological antiquities. Also, to encourage recycling, energy and resource conservation in addition to combating pollution, over development, overpopulation and urban sprawl."


Cho Oyu, 26,906 Feet Throughout its existence, Wilderness Defense! consisted of a small group of concerned citizens that held a deep love for the Earth and the life that it supports.  Although our resources were limited, our enthusiasm remained high!  And, as Margaret Mead once said; "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."


Australian Outback At Wilderness Defense!, we believe that the 4 Billion year history of life on this planet is more wonderful and beautiful than anything that humans could ever invent or imagine. Therefore, it is our hope that the peoples of the world can learn to work together in preserving the natural wonder of this special planet. Some of the things we can do include reducing our own population level (including the United States, the world's THIRD most populated country), preserving all of our remaining natural areas, recycling and reusing materials whenever possible, developing and using renewable energy sources, and learning to respect not only human life, but all other life as well.  With luck, and a little time, humankind can learn to live at peace with both itself, and this world - truly the natural paradise this planet was intended to be...




USA Flag The Passing of the American West:*

  29 Federal dams on the Columbia River
  60 Million Bison reduced to 20,000 wild specimens
  1 Billion Prairie Dogs now down to 2% of their original range
  100 million Pronghorn Antelope decimated from the loss of prairie
  Missouri River shortened 127 miles and a third as wide due to channeling
  400 Million acres of native prairie, since the time of Lewis and Clark, reduced to a fragment
  Elk, Bear, Wolves, Lions, Sheep, and other creatures at a fraction of their pre-contact populations

*The American East isn't doing too well either.  In his 1998 hiking book, "A Walk in the Woods," author Bill Bryson noted that "The Appalachians are the home of one of the world's great hardwood forests - the expansive relic of the richest, most diversified sweep of woodland ever to grace the temperate world - and that forest is in trouble.  If the global temperature rises by 4ºC over the next fifty years, as is evidently possible, the whole of the Appalachian wilderness below New England could become savanna.  Already trees are dying in frightening numbers."

UN Logo The United Nations' 2000-2001 World Resources report Says:

  Half of the world's wetlands were lost last century
  9 Percent of the world's tree species are at risk of extinction
  Tropical deforestation exceeds 130,000 square kilometers per year
  Logging and conversion have shrunk the world's forests by as much as half
  About 30 percent of the world's original forests have been converted to agriculture
  Dams, diversions and canals fragment almost 60 percent of the world's largest rivers
  Twenty percent of the world's freshwater species are extinct, threatened or endangered
  Soil degradation has affected two-thirds of the world's agricultural lands in the last 50 years




Click on these two "thumbnail" images for a larger view...

Earth Day:
(Also see my Earth Day page...)

Denver Earth Day Fair 1991 In addition to all the work we did on issues like Two Forks Dam, the Denver Airport, and E-470 we also participated in Earth Day events whenever time permitted. Here's a copy of our 1991 application for Denver's Earth Day...




Natural Conservatives' Wilderness Organization:

Natural Conservatives Wilderness Organziation In my 20s, during the 1980s, I created the Natural Conservatives' Wilderness Organization (NCWO). Although it later evolved into Wilderness Defense!, NCWO gave me good experience in not only starting an organization, but focusing my efforts on issues related to saving wilderness, wildlife, and biodiversity...

- Roger J. Wendell, July 2005




Arrow Pointing Right Click Here to make a charitable contribution to Wilerness Defense! and other related environmental work.


  1. Activists - folks on the frontlines!!
  2. Animals and wildlife
  3. A Short Dance
  4. Backyard Wildlife
  5. Biodiversity
  6. Climate Change
  7. Deep Ecology Nature does matter!
  8. Genetic Engineering Biopiracy, cloning and GMOs
  9. Earth Day
  10. International Buy Nothing Day
  11. Extinction
  12. Hunting For pleasure or subsistence?
  13. Leave No Trace - center for Outdoor Ethics
  1. ORV - the Off-road Vehicle menace
  2. Overpoppulation - 1 Billion is too many, 7.6 Billion is absurd!!
  3. Prairie Dogs Going, going, gone...
  4. Sierra Club
  5. Simple things YOU can do for the Earth
  6. Survival In the backcountry
  7. Ten Essentials For the backcountry
  8. Vegetarianism For the environment!
  9. Voluntary Simplicity
  10. Walking Softly Low impact techniques for the backcountry
  11. Water
  12. WildEarth Guardians - a Force for Nature
  13. World Charter for Nature - United Nations




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