Sonoran National Monument grazing

Sonoran National Monument grazing

Current Status:

Date Filed:
Aug 6, 2008

Case Title:
Western Watersheds Project v. Bureau of Land Management

Staff attorney(s):
Laurie Rule


Western Watersheds Project

To Protect:



Case Information:

President Clinton designated the 500,000-acre Sonoran Desert National Monument in 2001 to protect its outstanding wildlife, plant and other natural resources.  The Monument proclamation ordered BLM to halt livestock grazing on part of the Monument, and to study whether grazing would be compatible with the Monument purposes on the remainder.   Yet eight years later, BLM still has not made that compatability determination – yet it still authorizes livestock grazing that independent scientists have shown to be harming wildlife, plants and soils.

This case challenges BLM’s failure to prepare the required determination, and its continued authorization of livestock grazing that is incompatable with the Sonoran Monument purposes.

The Court dismissed part of this case and then the parties settled the remainder of the case, with BLM agreeing to complete a new Resource Management Plan for the Monument by December 2011 that includes the livestock compatibility determination.  The agreement also requires BLM to restrict off-road vehicle use and conduct monitoring of livestock grazing until the new Plan is issued.