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.

Selkirk Woodland Caribou

Case: Defenders of Wildlife, et al,. v. Susan Martin, et al., v. Idaho State Snowmobile Association

Dec. 13, 2021 – Advocates for the West won a ruling  upholding a ban on the use of snowmobiles in certain high-elevation areas of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest that provide important habitat for the endangered southern mountain caribou. Southern mountain caribou are among the most critically endangered mammals in the lower 48 states. They…

Meadow Creek ORVs

Case: The Wilderness Society and Idaho Conservation League v. U.S. Forest Service

Meadow Creek is a major tributary to the Selway River in central Idaho which is a candidate Wild and Scenic river; and it offers some of the best habitat anywhere for endangered salmon, steelhead and bull trout.  The Idaho conservation community has long fought to protect Meadow Creek from logging, roads, and other human impacts. Working…

Washington State Lands

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Jennifer Quan

Three rounds of state court litigation challenging Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife’s agreement with ranchers to open state wildlife refuges to livestock grazing, various grazing leases given by WDFW on state wildlife refuges, and an EIS which opened up the Whiskey Dick Wildlife Area to grazing.  These include areas vital to the last remaining sage-grouse populations…

Bighorn Sheep — Hells Canyon and Salmon River

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

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…

Jarbidge Sage-Grouse

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. Tom Dyer, Rick Vandervoet, Bureau of Land Management

This long-standing litigation challenges BLM’s mismanagement of grazing in the Jarbidge Resource Area of southern Idaho, which has harmed sage-grouse, pygmy rabbits, and other sensitive sagebrush-obligate species and their habitats. Our first court victory, in 2004, held that BLM violated NEPA in approving “temporary” grazing increases sought by Simplot Co. and other major corporate ranchers….

Forest Service grazing categorical exclusions

Case: Western Watersheds Project, et al. v. U.S. Forest Service

We teamed up with heavy-weight San Francisco law firm Keker & Van Nest in this litigation challenging hundreds of Forest Service grazing permit renewals on dozens of National Forests across the West. These permit renewals were done without any NEPA analysis, instead using “categorical exclusions” under an appropriations “rider” passed by Congress several years ago,…

Sage-Grouse ESA Listing

Case: Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity, and WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Greater sage-grouse are an “umbrella” species for the sagebrush ecosystem, that once covered 155 million acres of western US and Canada. Sage-grouse populations have declined steeply as sagebrush has been destroyed and fragmented by agricultural conversions, livestock grazing, energy development, weed invasions, and other impacts. This case challenged a January 2005 determination by U.S. Fish…