WORC is a regional network of grassroots community organizations that include over 15,000 members and 35 local chapters across seven western states. WORC helps its member groups succeed by providing training and coordinating issue work.
Our eight community organizations are:
- Dakota Resource Council (North Dakota)
- Dakota Rural Action (South Dakota)
- Idaho Organization of Resource Councils
- Northern Plains Resource Council (Montana)
- Oregon Rural Action
- Powder River Basin Resource Council (Wyoming)
- Western Colorado Alliance for Community Action
- Western Native Voice (Montana)
Based in Billings, Montana, WORC has field offices in Montrose, Colorado, and Washington, D.C.
WORC’s mission is to advance the vision of a democratic, sustainable, and just society through community action. WORC is committed to building sustainable environmental and economic communities that balance economic growth with the health of people and stewardship of their land, water, and air resources.
Each member group elects two representatives to the WORC board of directors. Board members are also leaders in their member organizations..
- In the 1970’s, we focused on coal mine reclamation and natural resource tax policy. We won model reclamation and coal leasing laws and progressive tax structures.
- In the 1980’s, we challenged national energy policies and helped table the synthetic fuels corporation. In the mid-1980’s, we confronted the farm lending practices of the banks and federal government. We won credit reforms at the state and national levels.
- In the 1990’s, WORC tackled concentration of economic power in a few agribusiness corporations, especially in meatpacking and grain trading. We also addressed hardrock mining reform, sprawl, electric industry deregulation, and factory farms.
- In the 2000’s, we fought for Country of Origin Labeling, and got a GIPSA rule that restricted the use of captive supplies of cattle by meatpackers to drive prices down.
- In the 2010’s WORC pressured the EPA and BLM to reform their rules governing methane waste from oil and gas wells and infrastructure. WORC also got involved with bankruptcies in America’s three biggest coal mines, ensuring that they had adequate bonding so as not to leave coal communities without the funds to reclaim the land should the mines close.