WE WORK WONDERS for NATURAL WONDERS

When an environmental plight calls for lean and hard-hitting legal muscle, conservation groups, Native American tribes, and concerned citizens call on us. Advocates for the West boosts the strength of our partners by providing free legal representation in federal court—advancing the mission of every client 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 50 partners on more than 150 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 record.

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

Logging in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide
Status: WON
June 24, 2022

Logging in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide

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

January 3, 2023 — Advocates for the West received affirmation of our June 2022 victory on behalf of Friends of the Clearwater to protect old growth forests on Idaho’s Salmon-Clearwater Divide. The U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho denied the Forest Service’s motion to amend the prior decision ordering the agency to conduct…

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

Willamette River Salmon and Steelhead

Case: 3:18-cv-00437-JR

September 1, 2021 – U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez issued a final opinion and order directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service to immediately undertake new measures at dams in the Willamette basin to prevent the extinction of threatened Upper Willamette River wild spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead. In the…

Salmon and Steelhead Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers
Status: WON
December 20, 2019

Salmon and Steelhead Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers

Case: Columbia Riverkeeper v. Scott Pruitt, Administrator of EPA

May 19, 2020 — EPA released its TMDL to control heat pollution in the Columbia and Snake rivers. EPA’s plan is further evidence that removing the four Lower Snake River dams is necessary to restore salmon and orcas. March 30, 2020 – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the EPA’s petition to rehear this case….

Salmon River Suction Dredging
Status: PENDING

Salmon River Suction Dredging

Case: n/a

Launching Case to Protect the Salmon River from Suction Dredging   On May 8, 2017, Advocates for the West sent a notice of intent to sue to a suction dredge miner for discharging sediment and other pollutants in Idaho’s Salmon River without a Clean Water Act permit.   What Is Suction Dredging? A suction dredge uses a high pressure,…

Grazing on Idaho’s East Fork of the Salmon
Status: SETTLED

Grazing on Idaho’s East Fork of the Salmon

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. U.S. Forest Service

  On July 7, 2017, we entered into a settlement agreement with the Forest Service to close the allotments to grazing during 2017 and 2018 – and no livestock will be allowed to return until stream health standards for trout and salmon are fully met. On October 12, 2016, we filed suit challenging the Forest Service’s…

Salmon-Challis Water Diversions
Status: SETTLED

Salmon-Challis Water Diversions

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. U.S. Forest Service et al., Case No. 1:14-cv-00216-EJL (D.Idaho 2014).

Advocates for the West is pleased to announce we settled this case against the Forest Service and NOAA Fisheries for failing to complete Endangered Species Act consultations for over 100 water diversions on streams in the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho’s Upper Salmon River basin.  The Salmon-Challis National Forest is home to important populations of threatened…

Salmon River Navigability
Status: PENDING

Salmon River Navigability

Case: Salmon River Navigability challenge by Idaho Conservation League

In January 2014, Advocates for the West’s Staff Attorney Bryan Hurlbutt filed a petition on behalf of the Idaho Conservation League asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revisit its determination from the 1930′s that Idaho’s Salmon River is not navigable. Because of this flawed determination, the Salmon River and endangered fish species are not receiving important…

Salmon River Suction Dredging
Status: FAVORABLY-DISMISSED

Salmon River Suction Dredging

Case: CVOC1218520

On October 12, 2012, Advocates for the West filed a Petition for Judicial Review on behalf of Idaho Conservation League challenging the State of Idaho’s approval of a riverbed mineral lease to Mike Conklin. The lease would have allowed Mr. Conklin to intensively suction dredge a half-mile segment of the bed of Idaho’s famed Salmon River approximately 13…

Salmon River Suction Dredging
Status: PENDING

Salmon River Suction Dredging

Case: CVOC1218520

On October 12, 2012, Advocates for the West filed a Petition for Judicial Review on behalf of Idaho Conservation League challenging the State of Idaho’s approval of a riverbed mineral lease to Mike Conklin. The lease would have allowed Mr. Conklin to intensively suction dredge a half-mile segment of the bed of Idaho’s famed Salmon River approximately 13…

Bighorn Sheep — Hells Canyon and Salmon River
Status: WON
June 14, 2012

Bighorn Sheep — Hells Canyon and Salmon River

Case: WWP v. US Forest Service, 07-cv-151-BLW (D. Idaho).

June 14, 2012 – In a court hearing, Judge Winmill ruled from the bench in favor of protecting bighorn sheep on the Payette National Forest. The Forest Service had decided in 2010 to close almost 70% of the Payette National Forest to domestic sheep grazing to protect the native bighorn populations in the area from disease…