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 Allotment EA Challenges in ID, WY, UT

Case: Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity, Grand Canyon Trust and Utah Environmental Congress v. U.S. Forest Service

February 14, 2013 — U.S. Magistrate Judge Ron Bush ruled in our favor on all 4 challenged decisions allowing the U.S. Forest Service to forgo conducting environmental analysis on 43 grazing allotments in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. In 2010, Region 4 of the Forest Service renewed grazing permits for hundreds of allotments without conducting any…

Grazing Challenges on OR Fremont-Winema National Forests

Case: Oregon Natural Desert Association and Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center v. David Sabo and U.S. Forest Service

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….

Idaho state land grazing

Case: Lazy Y Ranch Ltd v. Tracy Berhrens, Marilyn Howard, Keith Johnson, Jim Risch, Lawrence Wasden, Winston Wiggins, Ben Ysursa, Does 1-20, and Geairge Bacon

November of 2009 — The Idaho Land Board agreed to settle that case by revising their regulations to now allow conservation leases of state lands; and promised not to discriminate against conservation applicants in the future. Executive Director Laird Lucas has brought a series of lawsuits against the Idaho State Land Board over the last…

Mt. Wilson pinyon-juniper logging

Case: American Lands Alliance, Western Watersheds Project, et al v. Kolkman

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

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. Bureau of Land Management

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

Case: Western Watersheds Project and Randall Hermann, MD. v. U.S. Forest Service

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

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

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

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…

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…