Grand Teton NP, © Kari Funk
© Kari Funk

Northern Rockies

Basic Facts about Northern Rockies

Defenders has worked to protect wildlife and wild lands in the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains for more than 30 years. With large swaths of protected public land, the Northern Rockies are home to some of America’s most charismatic species.  


The mountains, basins and valleys of the U.S. Northern Rockies lie within parts of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Much of this impressive landscape is under public ownership, managed by federal and state agencies. Elevations range from high mountain peaks to low river bottoms, and that range contributes to the diversity of habitats found here: Coniferous forest, subalpine meadows, grasslands, sagebrush and thousands of miles of streams and rivers. Winters are long and cold with heavy snow, and summers are short and dry.  


The landscape is home to one of the highest concentrations of large native mammal species in the continental United States, including many of America’s most iconic species, such as grizzly bearswolves, elk and moose. Many other imperiled species are also found here, including wolverinesCanada lynxfisherwoodland caribou, bull trout, cutthroat trout, western toad, Townsend's big-eared bat and more.  


The Northern Rockies not only support endangered wildlife, but are also vital to maintaining a healthy environment that provides us with clean air, clean water and tremendous opportunities for recreation.