Hells Canyon Spalding’s Catchfly

Hells Canyon Spalding’s Catchfly

Current Status:

Date Filed:
Jan 10, 2018

Case Title:
Greater Hells Canyon Council v. Kris Stein and United States Forest Service

Staff attorney(s):
Laurie Rule


Greater Hells Canyon Council

To Protect:

Public Lands

Sensitive Native Plants


Case Information:

January 10, 2018 Advocates for the West partnered with Jennifer R. Schwartz to file suit against the U.S. Forest Service for failing to protect a unique and biologically diverse stretch of Oregon canyon country between the Imnaha and Snake Rivers from livestock grazing impacts.

The Forest Service completed its Lower Imnaha Range Analysis (LIRA) — a look at how (or if) grazing should be reauthorized on four grazing allotments covering approximately 44,000 acres within the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (HCNRA) — 38% of which is part of the Hells Canyon Wilderness. This analysis was the first time the Forest Service assessed whether grazing levels in the area complied with applicable laws and regulations.

The agency made little substantive change to these grazing permits and, in effect, added more grazing in the Wilderness. It is unlikely the Forest Service will reassess grazing management on these lower Imnaha allotments again for decades.

Our lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of the Greater Hells Canyon Council, asks the Forest Service to reevaluate LIRA in order to help protect the Spalding’s catchfly population in the HCNRA and help the species become robust enough to be delisted.