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.

Status: SETTLED

Idaho state land grazing

Case: Lazy Y Ranch v. Wiggins, 06-cv-340-MHW (D. Idaho)

Executive Director Laird Lucas has brought a series of lawsuits against the Idaho State Land Board over the last decade, based on their refusal to award school land leases to conservationists seeking to pay more money to protect and restore the lands. The Idaho Supreme Court has issued several decisions, all holding that it violates…

Pahsimeroi Endangered Fish
Status: WON
October 29, 2010

Pahsimeroi Endangered Fish

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. Rosenkrance, No. 09-cv-532 (D. Idaho)

The Pahsimeroi Valley contains key habitat for three species of Endangered Species Act-listed fish: bull trout, chinook salmon, and steelhead. Yet BLM and Forest Service have not conducted monitoring and habitat improvements as required by their own ESA consultation, which is now very outdated. Their failure to meet fish habitat requirements or to consult over…

Lemhi endangered fish
Status: SETTLED

Lemhi endangered fish

Case: WWP v. Wood et al., No. 09-cv-368 (D. Idaho)

This action challenges Forest Service and BLM violations of the Endangered Species Act in failing to carry out consulations with US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries over impacts of livestock grazing, irrigation diversions, and other management actions upon salmon, steelhead and bull trout in the Lemhi River watershed of central Idaho. The Lemhi River…

Grouse, Meadow, Rock, Trail Creek grazing allotments
Status: WON
January 5, 2011

Grouse, Meadow, Rock, Trail Creek grazing allotments

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. Rosenkrance, No. 09-cv-298 (D. Idaho)

This case challenges BLM decisions allowing grazing and construction of numerous livestock watering troughs and fences in the Grouse Creek, Meadow Creek, Trail Creek, and Rock Creek allotments, located in the Pahsimeroi watershed of central Idaho. This area is prime sage-grouse habitat, and the Pahsimeroi River within the Rock Creek allotment is home to endangered bull…

Burnt Creek Grazing Allotment
Status: WON
July 1, 2010

Burnt Creek Grazing Allotment

Case: WWP v. Rosenkrance, No. 09-cv-365 (D. Idaho)

The Burnt Creek allotment is located in the Upper Pahsimeroi watershed, which is occupied by bull trout and sage grouse; and extends over much of the Burnt Creek Wilderness Study Area. Our prior litigation in 2002-03 forced BLM to close the allotment to grazing for 4 years, although repeated livestock “trespass” occurred during that time, continuing…

Pleasantview allotment
Status: SETTLED

Pleasantview allotment

Case: ICL & WWP v. Steele, No. 01-cv-529 (D. Idaho)

The Pleasantview allotment covers 70,000 acres of mostly public lands near Malad City, in southeast Idaho.  It offers habitat for greater sage-grouse, Columbia sharp-tail grouse, and other imperiled species; yet BLM has allowed excessive livestock grazing to badly damage the uplands and stream bottoms.  Weeds and alien species are spreading, aided by livestock overgrazing of native…

Kemmerer sheep grazing
Status: WON
August 15, 2008

Kemmerer sheep grazing

Case: WWP v. BLM & Broadbent Grazing Assoc., WY 090-2007-15 (DOI OHA)

The Granger and Carter Lease allotments encompass 720,000 acres of prime sage grouse habitat in BLM’s Kemmerer Field Office of southwestern Wyoming. BLM previously approved oil and gas drilling on the Moxa Arch project here, which has already harmed the sage-grouse population.  And BLM is planning to expand the Moxa Arch field, which will further fragment the…

Bighorn National Forest Plan
Status: DISMISSED

Bighorn National Forest Plan

Case: WWP v. US Forest Service, No. 2:07-cv-323-CB (D. Wyoming)

The Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming has only a relic population of bighorn sheep, which die when they come into contact with domestic sheep grazing on the public lands.  Yet the Forest Service continues to authorize sheep grazing in bighorn habitat, and did not evaluate grazing alternatives to the status quo when it recently revised…

Soldier Meadows
Status: WON
July 2, 2009

Soldier Meadows

Case: Committee for the High Desert, WWP et al. v. Abbey, No. N-02-cv- (D. Nevada)

The 330,00-acre Soldier Meadows allotment lies adjacent to the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada; and includes parts of the recently-designated Black Rock wilderness and other new wilderness areas. Soldier Meadows also has numerous springs and streams occupied by endangered fish species, including the Lahontan cutthroat trout and desert dace. Yet BLM has allowed livestock grazing to…

Squaw Valley/Spanish Ranch
Status: WON
November 10, 2004

Squaw Valley/Spanish Ranch

Case: WWP v. BLM, Dept. of Interior OHA No. NV-10-2004-01 & 02

This administrative appeal before the Office of Hearings and Appeals in the Department of Interior challenged BLM’s authorization of grazing on the Squaw Valley and Spanish Ranch allotments of northern Nevada, where Barrick Goldstrike — a major gold mining company — has purchased several ranches and is running livestock on them. Following an evidentiary hearing, the…