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.

Grazing Challenges on OR Fremont-Winema National Forests
Status: WON
May 1, 2013

Grazing Challenges on OR Fremont-Winema National Forests

Case: Case No. 10-CV-1212-CL

This case challenges the Forest Service’s authorization of grazing on the Antelope Cattle and Horse allotment of Oregon’s Fremont-Winema National Forests thereby violating the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) and the National Forest Management Act (“NFMA”). A unique, large complex of fens and wetlands occurs on the allotment in the midst of surrounding dry forests….

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…

Mt. Wilson pinyon-juniper logging
Status: SETTLED

Mt. Wilson pinyon-juniper logging

Case: American Lands Alliance, WWP et al v. Kolkman, No. N-02-cv-182 (D. Nevada)

This case challenged BLM’s proposal to clearcut and mulch some 50 square miles of old growth pinyon-juniper forest around the Mt. Wilson area of central Nevada. BLM claimed that the logging was needed to reduce wildfire risks in the “urban/wildland interface,” even though there is no urban area in this remote part of Nevada — and…

Sonoran National Monument grazing
Status: FAVORABLY-DISMISSED

Sonoran National Monument grazing

Case: WWP v. BLM, No. 08-cv-1472-MHM (D. Az.)

President Clinton designated the 500,000-acre Sonoran Desert National Monument in 2001 to protect its outstanding wildlife, plant and other natural resources.  The Monument proclamation ordered BLM to halt livestock grazing on part of the Monument, and to study whether grazing would be compatible with the Monument purposes on the remainder.   Yet eight years later, BLM still has not made that compatability…

Sawtooth North Sheep Allotments
Status: WON
February 7, 2006

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
April 1, 2005

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
April 29, 2005

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
January 1, 2009

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…