WE WORK WONDERS for NATURAL WONDERS

When an environmental plight calls for lean and hard-hitting legal muscle, conservation groups call on us. Advocates for the West boosts the strength of environmental nonprofits and concerned citizens – advancing the mission of every partner by putting the power of law and science on the side of the West.

Since our founding in 2003, Advocates for the West has provided free legal support to over 35 partners on more than 170 cases – with an 85% record of success.

Smart and efficient, our attorneys work with partners to develop strategic cases aimed at enforcing the nation’s bedrock environmental laws. We handle an extensive caseload with an impressive win (link to wins list) record.

We work wonders to perpetuate natural wonders. It’s how the West is won.

Oil & Gas Leases in Sage-Grouse Habitat
Status: WON
February 27, 2020

Oil & Gas Leases in Sage-Grouse Habitat

Case: Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity V. Ryan K. Zinke, David Bernhardt; and BLM

June 9, 2021 – Advocates for the West won a ruling from Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush that suspended new drilling and fracking on 605 federal oil and gas leases spanning 403,820 acres of greater sage-grouse habitat in Wyoming and Montana. The Court ruled that the BLM violated federal law by failing to justify its refusal…

Suction Dredge Clean Water Act Enforcement
Status: WON
June 4, 2021

Suction Dredge Clean Water Act Enforcement

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. Shannon Poe, No. 1:18-cv-353-REB (D. Idaho)

June 4, 2021: Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush ruled in our favor on all counts, determining that suction dredge miner Shannon Poe polluted the South Fork of the Clearwater River and needed a permit as required under the Clean Water Act. We filed suit against Poe, who dredged for 42 days on the Idaho river,…

Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Areas
Status: PENDING

Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Areas

Case: Case 1:21-cv-01506

June 3, 2021 – Advocates for the West filed suit against the Department of Interior and Bureau of Land management for a plan approved under the Trump Administration to move ahead with plans to punch a four-lane highway through the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. The planned highway would pave over a protected, sensitive, scenic…

Bonneville Power Administration: Ratemaking
Status: PENDING

Bonneville Power Administration: Ratemaking

Case: BP-22

May 11, 2021 – Advocates for the West filed our initial brief opposing the BP-22 Settlement Proposal put forth by BPA. Our case argues that the settlement and the process leading up to it violates the Northwest Power Act’s requirement of “equitable treatment” for fish and wildlife. A larger-than-expected revenue forecast has left BPA in the position…

Caldwell Canyon Phosphate Mine
Status: PENDING

Caldwell Canyon Phosphate Mine

Case: Case 1:21-cv-00182-REB

April 27, 2021 – Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit challenging a decision made by the Trump Administration to greenlight the Caldwell Canyon phosphate mine in southeast Idaho. In 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved the mine on some 1,559 acres of ecologically important land that’s essential to sensitive native species such as…

Logging in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide
Status: PENDING

Logging in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide

Case: Case 3:21-cv-00189-CWD

April 28, 2021 – Advocates for the West filed suit on behalf of Friends of the Clearwater to stop two massive logging projects in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide. The Forest Service approved the two projects, “End of the World” and “Hungry Ridge,” based on the misguided notion that to save the forest and its wildlife, you have…

Protecting Bighorn Sheep in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Status: PENDING

Protecting Bighorn Sheep in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Case: Case 2:20-cv-00440

March 26, 2021: Advocates for the West completed briefing for a Preliminary Injunction to halt domestic sheep grazing in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest pending the outcome of our case. The Preliminary Injunction request cites the potential for catastrophic outcomes to nearly half of the wild bighorn in Washington state and that the Forest Service has failed…

Willamette River Salmon and Steelhead
Status: WON
August 17, 2020

Willamette River Salmon and Steelhead

Case: 3:18-cv-00437-JR

December 18, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed our reply brief and two expert declarations in the continued remedial phase of this case. With the Army Corps of Engineers’ long history neglecting its duties under the Endangered Species Act, we argue that the Court should defer to outside fisheries experts who prioritize the needs of…

Oil & Gas Drilling in the Uncompahgre Region
Status: PENDING

Oil & Gas Drilling in the Uncompahgre Region

Case: Oil & Gas Drilling in the Uncompahgre Region

September 15, 2020 – On behalf of public land conservation groups, Advocates for the West filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado challenging the Trump administration’s land use plan for the Uncompahgre region. The plan opens vast areas of western Colorado, including the North Fork Valley, to oil and gas…

Bureau of Reclamation: FOIA Records Request
Status: PENDING

Bureau of Reclamation: FOIA Records Request

Case: WaterWatch of Oregon v. Bureau of Land Reclamation, No. 3:20-cv-01445-HZ

August 25, 2020 — Advocates for the West filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to release certain records that are vital to WaterWatch of Oregon’s ability to participate in its mission to protect Oregon rivers and the species that depend on those rivers. On March 9,…