WE WORK WONDERS for NATURAL WONDERS

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.

Canyon of the Ancients Grazing
Status: WON

Canyon of the Ancients Grazing

Case: Canyon of the Ancients Grazing

On August 11th, 2015, Advocates for the West’s Staff Attorney Elizabeth Zultoski filed a protest against the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed decision to issue new 10-year grazing permits in Colorado’s famed Canyon of the Ancients National Monument. Canyon of the Ancients includes 170,965 acres in the Four Corners region of southwest Colorado and contains “the highest known density of archaeological sites in…

Oregon Spotted Frog Habitat Protection
Status: SETTLED

Oregon Spotted Frog Habitat Protection

Case: Oregon Spotted Frog Habitat Protection

On July 21, 2015, Advocates for the West’s Senior Attorney Laurie Rule and Staff Attorney Lizzy Zultoski submitted a notice of intent to sue the Bureau of Reclamation on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity. The notice letter alleges that the agency’s operation and maintenance of the Wickiup and Crane Prairie dams on the Deschutes River in Central Oregon…

Oregon Lost River and Shortnose Sucker Habitat Protection
Status: PENDING

Oregon Lost River and Shortnose Sucker Habitat Protection

Case: Oregon Wild, Friends of Living Oregon Waters, and Western Watersheds Project v. Constance Cummins, U.S. Forest Service, Laurie R. Sada, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

July 22, 2015, Advocates for the West’s Senior Attorney Laurie Rule and Staff Attorney Lizzy Zultoski partnered with David H. Becker to file a complaint on behalf of clients Oregon Wild, Friends of Living Oregon Waters, and Western Watersheds Project in U.S. District Court in Medford, Oregon over grazing in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The…

Idaho Wildlife Services FOIA Lawsuit
Status: FAVORABLY-DISMISSED

Idaho Wildlife Services FOIA Lawsuit

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services

On June 22, 2015, Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit in Idaho federal court on behalf of Western Watersheds Project against Wildlife Services to force the agency to disclose information about its wildlife-killing methods and activities in Idaho. The lawsuit alleges numerous violations of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA is a federal law that…

North Idaho Coal & Oil Trains
Status: PENDING

North Idaho Coal & Oil Trains

Case: AFW & ICL challenge proposed coal & oil rail bridge in North Idaho

In August 2014, BNSF Railway announced its intention to build a second rail bridge across Lake Pend Oreille. The bridge would accommodate additional rail traffic carrying crude oil from the Bakken and coal from the Powder River Basin to refineries and ports in the Pacific Northwest. The nearly mile-long new bridge would be located east…

Owyhee Wilderness Trapping
Status: SETTLED

Owyhee Wilderness Trapping

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. BLM

Advocates for the West is challenging BLM’s decision to allow commercial trapping in the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness Areas.In 2009, Congress designated six wilderness areas and sixteen wild and scenic river segments in Owyhee County in Southwest Idaho. Though close to Boise, the rugged river canyons and vast desert of the Owyhee Canyonlands offer unique opportunities for…

Oregon Bull Trout Habitat Protection
Status: DISMISSED

Oregon Bull Trout Habitat Protection

Case: Oregon Wild, Friends of Living Oregon Waters, Western Watersheds Project v. US Forest Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service

On May 26th, 2015, Advocates for the West’s Senior Attorney Laurie Rule partnered with David H. Becker to file a complaint on behalf of clients Oregon Wild, Friends of Living Oregon Waters and Western Watersheds Project in the U.S. District Court in Medford, Oregon over illegal grazing in the Fremont and Winema National Forest. The court…

Protecting Selway Wild and Scenic Values
Status: WON
March 28, 2016

Protecting Selway Wild and Scenic Values

Case: IRU & Morgan and Olga Wright v. District Ranger Joe Hudson & USFS

On May 19, 2015, Advocates for the West filed a complaint on behalf of Idaho Rivers United against District Ranger Joe Hudson and the United States Forest Service for unlawfully designating forest road 652 on the Nez Perce National Forest as a “public road.” This designation would allow the Idaho Department of Lands to utilize…

Treasure Valley Air Pollution
Status: PENDING

Treasure Valley Air Pollution

Case: Petition Filed

On February 6, 2015, Advocates for the West and the Idaho Conservation League petitioned EPA to take urgent action to address growing air quality problems in Idaho’s Treasure Valley. It’s no surprise to locals that air quality can be less than pristine in the Treasure Valley, particularly during winter weather inversions. However, we were surprised to learn that fine…

Golden Hand Mining Exploration
Status: WON
August 2, 2016

Golden Hand Mining Exploration

Case: Idaho Conservation League et al vs. Lannom, Keith B., Payette National Forest Service Supervisor, and U.S. Forest Service

Advocates for the West is challenging a mining company’s plan to deploy bulldozers, dump trucks, and drill rigs inside the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The Forest Service released a Draft Record of Decision in December 2014 approving a proposal by American Independence Mines and Minerals (AIMMCO) to perform the industrial-scale mining claim validation work…