Soldier Meadows

Soldier Meadows

Current Status:

Case Title:
Committee for the High Desert and Western Watersheds Project v. Robert V. Abbey Kathleen Clarke, and Bureau of Land Management

Staff attorney(s):
Todd Tucci


Western Watersheds Project

To Protect:

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

Date won/settled:
July 2, 2009


Case Information:

The 330,00-acre Soldier Meadows allotment lies adjacent to the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada; and includes parts of the recently-designated Black Rock wilderness and other new wilderness areas.

Soldier Meadows also has numerous springs and streams occupied by endangered fish species, including the Lahontan cutthroat trout and desert dace.

Yet BLM has allowed livestock grazing to damage the streams and meadows of the Soldier Meadows allotment, and degrade its wilderness values.  It has largely let the ranching permittee determine when, where and how many cows to graze on these public lands.

We have sought to protect the wilderness and resource values of Soldier Meadows through a series of lawsuits and appeals.  This case forced BLM to study the impacts of grazing on endangered fish habitat — after which BLM agreed it had to close the springs and riparian areas to grazing because of the damage being done.