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.

Sage Hen Project Logging
Status: PENDING

Sage Hen Project Logging

Case: Notice of Intent to Sue

August 30, 2021 — Advocates for the West initiated a new action against the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the “Sage Hen Integrated Restoration Project” in the West Mountains in West-Central Idaho. When it approved the Sage Hen Project in April 2021, the Forest Service authorized constructing over 80 miles of roads and commercially harvesting timber on 18,000 acres over…

Sawtooth National Forest Water Diversions
Status: WON
June 17, 2019

Sawtooth National Forest Water Diversions

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. U.S. Forest Service

August 25, 2021 — Advocates for the West secured a victory in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to protect threatened Idaho salmon, steelhead, and bull trout from irrigation water diversions in Idaho’s Sawtooth Valley. The Ninth Circuit decision upholds our lower court win that requires the U.S. Forest Service to consult with experts and protect…

Willamette Basin ESA Violations
Status: WON
July 15, 2021

Willamette Basin ESA Violations

Case: Case 3:20-cv-00413

July 15, 2021 – Advocates for the West received a strong ruling in our favor when the court issued a draft order outlining the actions that the Army Corps must immediately take to protect threatened salmon and steelhead in the Willamette River. Judge Hernandez made clear he “has no patience for further delay or obfuscation in this…

Sonoran Desert National Monument Followup Case
Status: PENDING

Sonoran Desert National Monument Followup Case

Case: 2:13-cv-01028-PGR

On June 29, 2021, Advocates for the West filed suit against the Arizona Bureau of Land Management (Bureau) for failing to protect the native plants, wildlife, and cultural resources found within the Sonoran Desert National Monument from the devastating impacts of livestock grazing. This suit challenges the Bureau’s 2020 land management decision. The decision was…

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…

Sheep Experiment Station Followup Case
Status: WON
April 16, 2021

Sheep Experiment Station Followup Case

Case: Case 1:19-cv-00065-REB

April 16, 2021 — A federal ruled in favor of Advocates for the West and against the reauthorization and expansion of domestic sheep grazing in and around the US Sheep Experiment Station in Idaho’s Centennial Mountains on the Idaho-Montana border. With this decision, the Sheep Station is not permitted to graze sheep on the summer pastures…

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…