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…

Salmon and Steelhead Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers
Status: PENDING

Salmon and Steelhead Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers

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

August 15, 2016 –  In response to rising water temperatures and inaction by federal agencies, Advocates for the West filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asking the EPA to take action and prevent massive, heat-driven fish kills. In 2015 scientists recorded the warmest year on record, and hot water…

Midas Gold Clean Water Act Violations
Status: PENDING

Midas Gold Clean Water Act Violations

Case: Case 1:19-cv-00307-BLW

August 8, 2019 — Advocates for the West is partnering with the Nez Perce Tribe Office of Legal Counsel to represent the Nez Perce Tribe in a Clean Water Act (CWA) enforcement lawsuit against Midas Gold Corporation. Midas Gold is illegally discharging arsenic, cyanide, mercury, and other harmful pollutants to the East Fork South Fork Salmon River…

Hells Canyon Complex Water Quality
Status: PENDING

Hells Canyon Complex Water Quality

Case: Petition for Judicial Review

July 23, 2019 – Advocates for the West teamed up with the Nez Perce Tribe (Tribe) to file a challenge to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s (ODEQ) May 24, 2019, Clean Water Act  certification for Idaho Power Company’s Hells Canyon Complex Hydroelectric Project (Hells Canyon Complex). Located within the Tribe’s aboriginal homeland, the Hells Canyon…

Sawtooth National Forest Water Diversions
Status: WON
June 17, 2019

Sawtooth National Forest Water Diversions

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

June 17, 2019 – Court order Forest Service to analyze water use at the 20 diversions and determining how to mitigate negative impacts on fish. 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…

Bonneville Power Administration Ratemaking
Status: PENDING

Bonneville Power Administration Ratemaking

Case: Petition to Intervene

December 14, 2018 – BPA granted our motion to intervene, which will give us a real opportunity to dig into the true cost of the Lower Snake River dams. December 11, 2018 – Advocates for the West filed a petition to intervene with the Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) Joint Power and Transmission Rate Proceeding for the 2020-2021…

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…

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,…