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.

Devil’s Corral Water Rights
Status: FAVORABLY-DISMISSED

Devil’s Corral Water Rights

Case: In the Matter of Application for Permit No. 36-7999 (Devils Corral LLC)

February 27, 2018 – Advocates for the West represents the Committee for Idaho’s High Desert (CIHD) in this water right protest. Devil’s Corral Spring is a 3/4-mile long river that flows into the Snake River just upstream of Shoshone Falls. Fed by the Snake River Plain Aquifer, Devil’s Corral Spring is clean and free flowing…

Oil & Gas Leases in Sage-Grouse Habitat
Status: PENDING

Oil & Gas Leases in Sage-Grouse Habitat

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

April 30, 2018 – Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit challenging Trump Administration policies that gut protections for imperiled greater sage-grouse and allow oil and gas leases on nearly 2 million acres of the bird’s prime habitat. Our suit demonstrates that the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management violated the National Environmental Policy Act and…

Sawtooth National Forest Water Diversions
Status: PENDING

Sawtooth National Forest Water Diversions

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

On March 13, 2017, Advocates for the West sent the Forest Service a notice of intent to sue for violating the Endangered Species Act by authorizing 23 existing irrigation diversions and ditches in Idaho’s Sawtooth Valley without addressing long-standing adverse impacts to fish. The Sawtooth Valley’s Imperiled Fish Runs The Sawtooth Valley watershed is part of central…

Idaho Wildlife Services Environmental Assessment
Status: PENDING

Idaho Wildlife Services 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 Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers
Status: PENDING

Salmon Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers

Case: Columbia Riverkeeper v. Scott Pruitt, Administrator of EPA

August 15, 2016 –  In response to rising water temperatures and inaction by federal agencies, Advocates for the West filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asking the EPA to take action and prevent massive, heat-driven fish kills. Last year scientists recorded the warmest year on record, and hot water…

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
November 20, 2017

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: NEDC et al V. US Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service

March 13, 2018 – Advocates for the West filed suit against the US Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service. Our suit challenges agency operation and maintenance of the Willamette River Basin Flood Control Project (Willamette Project) for violating the Endangered Species Act. The current operation of the Willamette Project’s dams and reservoirs cause significant…

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…