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.

Oil & Gas Leases in Sage-Grouse Habitat
Status: WON
February 27, 2020

Oil & Gas Leases in Sage-Grouse Habitat

Case: Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity V. Ryan K. Zinke, David Bernhardt; and BLM

June 9, 2021 – Advocates for the West won a ruling from Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush that suspended new drilling and fracking on 605 federal oil and gas leases spanning 403,820 acres of greater sage-grouse habitat in Wyoming and Montana. The Court ruled that the BLM violated federal law by failing to justify its refusal…

Caldwell Canyon Phosphate Mine
Status: PENDING

Caldwell Canyon Phosphate Mine

Case: Case 1:21-cv-00182-REB

April 27, 2021 – Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit challenging a decision made by the Trump Administration to greenlight the Caldwell Canyon phosphate mine in southeast Idaho. In 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved the mine on some 1,559 acres of ecologically important land that’s essential to sensitive native species such as…

Logging in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide
Status: PENDING

Logging in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide

Case: Case 3:21-cv-00189-CWD

April 28, 2021 – Advocates for the West filed suit on behalf of Friends of the Clearwater to stop two massive logging projects in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide. The Forest Service approved the two projects, “End of the World” and “Hungry Ridge,” based on the misguided notion that to save the forest and its wildlife, you have…

Protecting Bighorn Sheep in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Status: PENDING

Protecting Bighorn Sheep in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Case: Case 2:20-cv-00440

March 26, 2021: Advocates for the West completed briefing for a Preliminary Injunction to halt domestic sheep grazing in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest pending the outcome of our case. The Preliminary Injunction request cites the potential for catastrophic outcomes to nearly half of the wild bighorn in Washington state and that the Forest Service has failed…

Willamette River Salmon and Steelhead
Status: WON
August 17, 2020

Willamette River Salmon and Steelhead

Case: 3:18-cv-00437-JR

December 18, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed our reply brief and two expert declarations in the continued remedial phase of this case. With the Army Corps of Engineers’ long history neglecting its duties under the Endangered Species Act, we argue that the Court should defer to outside fisheries experts who prioritize the needs of…

Bonneville Power Administration: FOIA Records Request
Status: PENDING

Bonneville Power Administration: FOIA Records Request

Case: Advocates for the West v. Bonneville Power Administration, No. 3:20-cv-01028-AC

October 5, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed a motion for partial summary judgment and we are now moving for a court order requiring BPA to disclose documents to us at an accelerated pace. June 26, 2020 — Advocates for the West filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the Bonneville…

Colville National Forest Wolves
Status: PENDING

Colville National Forest Wolves

Case: WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project, and Kettle Range Conservation Group V. US Forest Service, Case #2:20-cv-00223

January 22, 2021 — Advocates for the West, in partnership with Jennifer Schwartz of WildEarth Guardians and Talasi Brooks of Western Watersheds Project, jointly filed a summary judgement brief, along with declarations from wolf expert Carter Niemeyer, Kettle Range Conservation Group executive director Timothy Coleman, and biologist Jocelyn Leroux. Our filing compels the court to find that…

Wishbone Bighorn Herd Protection
Status: PENDING

Wishbone Bighorn Herd Protection

Case: WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project V. U.S. Forest Service, Case #1:19-cv-00208

July 20, 2020 — Advocates for the West filed our reply brief in this case. May 20, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed our opening brief in the US District Court for the District of Colorado arguing that the forest managers knew the risk that domestic sheep would pose to bighorn, yet authorized grazing anyway…

Challenging Wildlife Killing Program in Idaho
Status: PENDING

Challenging Wildlife Killing Program in Idaho

Case: Case 1:20-cv-00213-DCN

May 7, 2020 — Advocates for the West and in-house counsel from client Western Watersheds Project are suing USDA Wildlife Services for killing thousands of coyotes and other native wildlife in Idaho, mostly at the request of livestock producers, without first completing an up-to-date analysis disclosing the environmental consequences of those actions. In 2018, we won a case against…

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area Grazing
Status: PENDING

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area Grazing

Case: Case 4:20-cv-00149-JGZ

April 7, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on behalf of Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity for the agency’s failure to protect the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (RNCA) from damage caused by livestock grazing. The BLM’s 2019 management plan sanctioned  destructive levels of livestock grazing…