LAND in the WEST

In the West, there is an unmistakable feeling of openness. That call of the wild. That sense that this belongs to all of us. As, in truth, it does. With over 350 million acres of public lands in the West, this land is our land.

The American West is home to some of the most biologically diverse and beautiful regions in the world. From the Northern Rockies, to the Sierras and Cascades, to the vast Sagebrush Sea, the singular nature of each place in the West’s public lands unfolds a boundless variety of wonder.

The inherent possibility in the wild nature of the West is limitless – we consider it our sacred trust to ensure public lands are here to benefit many generations to come.

Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Areas
Status: PENDING

Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Areas

Case: Motion to Intervene

March 24, 2017 – Advocates for the West filed a motion to intervene in the Washington County, Utah appeal of the Final Resource Management Plans (RMP) for the Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Areas (NCA). Earlier in the year, Washington County filed an appeal with the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA),…

Sawtooth North Sheep Allotments
Status: WON

Sawtooth North Sheep Allotments

Case: WWP & Dr. Randall Hermann v. US Forest Service, 05-cv-189 (D. Idaho)

In response to our victory in the SNRA wolves case, Forest Service prepared an EIS for new grazing management on North Sheep, Smiley Creek, and other allotments in the Sawtooth National Forest of central Idaho, which are home to wolves, bighorn sheep, and endangered salmon and other fish.  These allotments are grazed by domestic sheep, which…

Sawtooth — North Sheep 2009
Status: DISMISSED

Sawtooth — North Sheep 2009

Case: WWP v. Forest Service, 05-cv-189 (D. Idaho)

Opening summary judgment brief filed June 25, 2010 in the Sawtooth–North Sheep case alleges that the Forest Service failed to take a “hard look” at sheep grazing impacts on several Sawtooth National Forest allotments, particularly on sensitive wildlife including fish and sage grouse.  Even though we won a prior court order requiring analysis of grazing…

Clearwater Old Growth
Status: WON

Clearwater Old Growth

Case: The Wilderness Society et al v. Bosworth, 118 F. Supp. 2d 1082 (D. Mont. 2000)

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
Status: WON

Whiskey South timber sale

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. Bennett, 04-cv-447-MHW (D. Idaho)

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…

Status: DISMISSED

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…

Washington State Lands
Status: WON

Washington State Lands

Case: Dr. Steve Herman & WWP v. WDFW, No. 08-2-00276-1, Thurston County Sup. Ct

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…

Forest Service grazing categorical exclusions
Status: WON

Forest Service grazing categorical exclusions

Case: WWP v. U.S. Forest Service, case no. 08-1460-PJH

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
Status: WON

Sage-Grouse ESA Listing

Case: WWP v. US Fish and Wildlife Service, 06-cv-277-BLW (D. Idaho).

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…

Jarbidge Sage-Grouse
Status: WON

Jarbidge Sage-Grouse

Case: WWP v. Dyer, 04-cv-181-BLW (D. Idaho)

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….