WILDLIFE in the WEST

Threatened and endangered species in the West cover the gamut. They are bighorn sheep and wolves. They are sage-grouse and salmon. They are pygmy rabbits and spotted frogs.

Our wildlife cases wield the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and others to halt habitat destruction – unchecked grazing, industrial development, mining exploration, obsolete dams – wildlife in the West face these and many other threats daily.

As climate change and human activities cause the loss and fragmentation of habitats, our work becomes increasingly vital. We strive to protect and boost diminishing wildlife populations – from the mighty bighorn to the fragile frog.

Idaho Water Quality: Hells Canyon Pollution
Status: PENDING

Idaho Water Quality: Hells Canyon Pollution

Case: Petition filed with EPA

On March 9, 2015, Advocates for the West filed a petition (linked below) on behalf of the Idaho Conservation League asking the US Environmental Protection Agency to revise Idaho’s Hells Canyon Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which creates a plan to address excessive nutrient pollution by reducing phosphorus levels and meeting water quality standards on this stretch of…

South Beaverhead Bighorn Sheep
Status: WON

South Beaverhead Bighorn Sheep

Case: Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians vs. U.S. Forest Service, Case No. 1:17-cv-434

October 17, 2017 – Advocates for the West is seeking an emergency injunction to halt authorization of domestic sheep grazing that threatens to extirpate a small, sensitive population of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the South Beaverhead Mountains of Idaho. We filed a motion requesting a temporary restraining order to halt plans by the USDA Sheep Experiment Station…

Willamette River Wild Fish
Status: PENDING

Willamette River Wild Fish

Case: Notice of Intent To Sue the US Army Corps of Engineers

November 2, 2017 – Advocates for the West warned federal water managers of our intent to sue to protect threatened Upper Willamette River Chinook and steelhead from harm caused by numerous dams throughout the Upper Willamette River basin in Oregon. We warned the Corps that the agency must do more to protect these imperiled species from extinction. Historically, around…

Sheeprocks Sage-Grouse Appeal
Status: PENDING

Sheeprocks Sage-Grouse Appeal

Case: Notice of Appeal-Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity, and American Bird Conservancy vs. Bureau of Land Management

On October 31, 2017, Advocates for the West filed an administrative appeal and petition for stay of BLM’s decision to lease priority sage-grouse habitat in central Utah for oil and gas development. The auctioned parcels are home to the isolated and imperiled Sheeprocks population of greater sage-grouse. The Sheeprocks population experienced a nearly 40 percent decrease over the…

Winter Travel Plan Follow-up Case
Status: PENDING

Winter Travel Plan Follow-up Case

Case: Case 1:17-cv-00376-CWD

On September 9, 2017, Advocates for the West filed suit against three Intermountain national forests for being the only in the nation to rubber stamp winter travel decisions that are more than 20 years old rather than create new winter travel plans that regulate snowmobile use based on current conditions and up-to-date science. Since the prior…

Galena Mine Clean Water Act Enforcement
Status: PENDING

Galena Mine Clean Water Act Enforcement

Case: Notice Of Intent To Sue

Launching Case to Protect Coeur d’Alene Basin From Mine Pollution On May 17, 2017, Advocates for the West sent a notice of intent to sue to U.S. Silver and its parent corporation Americas Silver Corp., who own and operate the Galena Mine in the Silver Valley of North Idaho.  U.S. Silver is violating the Clean Water Act by discharging…

Idaho Wildlife Services 2017 FOIA
Status: PENDING

Idaho Wildlife Services 2017 FOIA

Case: Western Watersheds Project vs. USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, Case No. 1:17-cv-197

Finding out What Wildlife Services is up to in our State Advocates for the West filed suit on behalf of Western Watersheds Project, challenging Wildlife Services’ failure to adequately and timely respond to two Freedom of Information Act requests seeking information about Wildlife Services’ activities in Idaho.  In both cases, Wildlife Services failed to fully…

Idaho Wildlife Services 2016 Environmental Assessment
Status: PENDING

Idaho Wildlife Services 2016 Environmental Assessment

Case: Western Watersheds Project et al. vs. USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, Case No. 1:17-cv-201

Stopping the Slaughter: Suing Wildlife Services Advocates for the West filed suit on behalf of Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, and Predator Defense, over a 2016 decision through which Wildlife Services seeks to expand its slaughter of thousands of ravens and coyotes, as well as wolves, black bears, mountain lions,…

Salmon River Suction Dredging
Status: PENDING

Salmon River Suction Dredging

Case: n/a

Launching Case to Protect the Salmon River from Suction Dredging   On May 8, 2017, Advocates for the West sent a notice of intent to sue to a suction dredge miner for discharging sediment and other pollutants in Idaho’s Salmon River without a Clean Water Act permit.   What Is Suction Dredging? A suction dredge uses a high pressure,…

Wildlife Services Wolf-Killing in Idaho
Status: PENDING

Wildlife Services Wolf-Killing in Idaho

Case: Case #1:16-cv-218

June 1, 2016:  Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging USDA-Wildlife Services’ killing of gray wolves in Idaho. The agency killed at least 72 wolves in Idaho in 2015, using methods including foothold traps, neck snares and aerial gunning from helicopters. The agency has used aerial gunning in central Idaho’s “Lolo zone” for…