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 our partners 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. We win for the West.

Clearwater Old Growth

Case: The Wilderness Society et al v. Bosworth

Representing a broad coalition of national, state and local conservation groups, we brought this case in 1997 to stop Forest Service plans to log old growth forests in the Clearwater region of central Idaho — including the headwaters of the Lochsa and North Fork Clearwater rivers.   The case focused on how logging and logging roads…

Whiskey South timber sale

Case: Idaho Conservation League and Friends of the Clearwater v. K. Lynn Bennett, Bureau of Land Management, Abigail Kimball, and United States Forest Service

BLM proposed to log over 12 million board feet of old growth forests in the South Fork Clearwater basin of central Idaho, asserting that risks of beetle infestation and wildfire required the logging.  After a week long trial where we called several expert witnesses to show those arguments were not accurate, the federal court enjoined the logging…

Clearwater — Lolo Creek Timber Sales

Case: The Ecology Center, et al., v. Abigal Kimbell, et al.

We won an injunction in 2004 preventing the Clearwater National Forest from proceeding with two adjoining timber sales in the Lolo Creek watershed of central Idaho, to protect habitat of imperilled fish — including salmon, steelhead, and bull trout. Even though the Forest Service developed the two sales — called “White/White” and “Brick/Trout” — at the…

Interior Mountain quail

Case: 9th Cir. 07-39577

Interior Mountain Quail were once abundant across the sagebrush-steppe, but are now reduced to a few populations in Oregon, Nevada and Idaho; and remaining populations are threatened by habitat destruction from grazing and other impacts. The US Fish and Wildlife Service rejected client Western Watersheds Project’s petition to list Interior Mountain Quail under the ESA, saying it is not a “distinct” population…

Selkirk Woodland Caribou

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

December 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

The Thurston County Superior Court ruled that WDFW’s action in approving the latest Asotin grazing permit was arbitrary and capricious, noting that the agency had disregarded its own scientists’ concerns about wildlife. January of 2011 — We successfully settled our case challenging the Whiskey Dick EIS with an agreement that will close about 35,000 acres of…

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…

Jarbidge Sage-Grouse

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

April 14, 2011 — A federal judge has ordered BLM to close to livestock grazing 17 allotments in the Jarbidge Field Office in southwestern Idaho, and has given Simplot Livestock and other permittees about two weeks to remove all livestock from the closed areas.  Animating the court’s decision was the continuing collapse of sage-grouse populations…

Forest Service grazing categorical exclusions

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

November 11, 2010 — After the parties partially settled this case, the Forest Service still tried to move the remainder of Plaintiffs’ case from the Northern District of California to the Eastern District of California.  In a short but sweet Order, the Court denied this motion and retained the case. May 30, 2008 — We…