40 Years of Grassroots Organizing
Help WORC celebrate 40 years of grassroots organizing, building power in Western states, and winning on issues.
“Honoring our Past, Creating Our Future”
In the summer of 1979, representatives from Dakota Resource Council, Powder River Basin Resource Council, and Northern Plains Resource Council came together in Bismarck, ND, and formed the Western Organization of Resource Councils, changing grassroots organizing in the West forever.
Since then, the WORC network has grown to eight groups in our region dedicated to building environmentally and economically sustainable communities, including Oregon Rural Action, Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, Western Native Voice, Western Colorado Alliance, and Dakota Rural Action.
The WORC network has big plans for the next 40 years. A wave of new, enthusiastic leaders is beginning to shape the organization.
Today, WORC has about 15,000 members in 35 chapters in our seven-state region, including membership from most of our states’ Reservations. WORC helps share resources and experience throughout our groups and takes their unified vision of rural vitality to Washington DC. This grassroots power and representation has helped protect rural communities and families for the last 40 years. Our work has brought about big wins to keep family farms operating despite the growth of industrialized agriculture; minimizing the impacts of under-regulated oil and gas development, and stopping the destruction of farm and ranch land through coal mining.
The WORC network has big plans for the next 40 years. A wave of new, enthusiastic leaders is beginning to shape the organization. They’re harnessing the wisdom of members who have worked for decades for a democratic, sustainable, and just society, and looking toward a bold future of building homegrown prosperity through clean, renewable energy, properly implemented coal mine reclamation, and building just and diverse rural economies.
Throughout the year, we will be updating this page with interviews with leaders who have brought us this far, as well as up-and-coming leaders who are shaping the organization’s future, among other things. Check back often.