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.

Willamette River Salmon and Steelhead
Status: PENDING

Willamette River Salmon and Steelhead

Case: 3:18-cv-00437-JR

Upper Willamette River wild spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead are facing the threat of extinction due largely to dam operations in Oregon’s Willamette River basin. Advocates for the West filed an emergency injunction in federal court to compel the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) to make immediate operational changes at four of…

BPA–Idaho Accord Extension
Status: PENDING

BPA–Idaho Accord Extension

Case: NA

September 26, 2018 – Advocates for the West submitted comments on the draft Bonneville Power Administration’s Idaho Accord extension agreement on behalf of Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Rivers United, Idaho Wildlife Federation and Idaho Chapter of the Sierra Club. In August 2018, we sent a letter to BPA expressing concern over the lack of public notice and…

Suction Dredge Clean Water Act Enforcement
Status: PENDING

Suction Dredge Clean Water Act Enforcement

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

August 10, 2018: Advocates for the West filed suit against Shannon Poe for illegally suction dredge mining on Idaho’s South Fork Clearwater River in violation of the Clean Water Act. Poe spent many days dredging in past years, and again this summer, without a permit authorizing his pollution discharges to the river. Despite being notified numerous times…

Sawtooth National Forest Water Diversions
Status: PENDING

Sawtooth National Forest Water Diversions

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. U.S. Forest Service

On March 13, 2017, Advocates for the West sent the Forest Service a notice of intent to sue for violating the Endangered Species Act by authorizing 23 existing irrigation diversions and ditches in Idaho’s Sawtooth Valley without addressing long-standing adverse impacts to fish. The Sawtooth Valley’s Imperiled Fish Runs The Sawtooth Valley watershed is part of central…

Willamette River Wild Fish
Status: PENDING

Willamette River Wild Fish

Case: NEDC et al V. US Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service

March 13, 2018 – Advocates for the West filed suit against the US Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service. Our suit challenges agency operation and maintenance of the Willamette River Basin Flood Control Project (Willamette Project) for violating the Endangered Species Act. The current operation of the Willamette Project’s dams and reservoirs cause significant…

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…

Protecting Idaho Wild and Scenic Rivers
Status: WON

Protecting Idaho Wild and Scenic Rivers

Case: Case 3:16-cv-00102-CWD

Advocates for the West filed suit in Idaho federal court to protect the Selway and Middle Fork Clearwater Wild and Scenic Rivers from massive clear-cutting approved by the Forest Service on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest. The suit challenges the Forest Service’s approval of the Johnson Bar Fire Salvage Project, which would log 34 million…

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…

Midas Gold Mining Exploration
Status: WON
June 23, 2014

Midas Gold Mining Exploration

Case: ICL v. USFS/NOAA/FWS

Advocates for the West Staff Attorney Bryan Hurlbutt represents the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) in this case with the Nez Perce Tribe, challenging the Forest Service’s, NOAA’s, and FWS’s approval of Midas Gold’s “Golden Meadows” mining exploration project. Midas Gold plans to construct drill pads and drill 178 holes to explore for gold on the Payette…