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

February 27, 2020 – Advocates for the West won a significant victory when the court overturned a Trump administration policy which curtailed public participation in oil and gas leasing decisions. The court also granted Advocates for the West‘s request to void lease sales covering nearly 1 million acres of public lands — roughly a quarter of all…

Gas Drilling in Pronghorn Migration Path
Status: PENDING

Gas Drilling in Pronghorn Migration Path

Case: Case 2:19-cv-00146-SWS

February 19, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed a legal petition challenging the Trump administration’s plan to allow 3,500 new gas wells in southwestern Wyoming. The massive frack-field expansion could block the ancient Path of the Pronghorn and prevent access to winter ranges that the animals need to survive. The iconic 170-mile migratory path connects…

Willamette Basin ESA Violations
Status: PENDING

Willamette Basin ESA Violations

Case: Case 3:20-cv-00413

March 12, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for failing to address our concerns over the agency’s plans to reallocate over 1.6 million acre feet of water from the Willamette River Basin to agricultural irrigation and peak-season city water demands. The Corps continues to push its…

Antelope Allotment Grazing Followup
Status: PENDING

Antelope Allotment Grazing Followup

Case: Case 1:19-cv-00516-MC

February 25, 2020 — Advocates for the West filed our reply brief in this case. December 20, 2019 — Advocates for the West filed a motion for summary judgment in this case. We are asking the court to issue a ruling in our favor based on more than a decade of the agency’s own scientific evidence and…

Kilgore Mine Exploration in Centennial Mountains
Status: PENDING

Kilgore Mine Exploration in Centennial Mountains

Case: Case 1:18-cv-00504-CWD

February 28, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed a motion asking Judge Winmill to vacate the Kilgore DN/FONSI and EA so no exploration can proceed until the Forest Service addresses the issues raised in the court’s earlier decision. December 18, 2019 — Advocates for the West won a ruling from Idaho federal court that the…

Salmon and Steelhead Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers
Status: WON
December 20, 2019

Salmon and Steelhead 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. In 2015 scientists recorded the warmest year on record, and hot water…

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

Sawtooth National Forest Water Diversions

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

June 17, 2019 – Court order Forest Service to analyze water use at the 20 diversions and determining how to mitigate negative impacts on fish. 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…

Duck Creek Livestock Grazing
Status: PENDING

Duck Creek Livestock Grazing

Case: 1:19-cv-00037-BLW

February 10, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed our opening brief in this case. April 29, 2019 – Defendants DOI and IBLA filed a motion to dismiss or transfer venue, arguing that this case should be heard in Utah rather than Idaho federal court. Advocates for the West opposed the motion, demonstrating that client Western…

Sage-Grouse RMP Challenge
Status: WON
October 16, 2019

Sage-Grouse RMP Challenge

Case: No. 1:16-cv-83

February 25, 2016 – Advocates for the West filed a new lawsuit in Idaho federal court seeking to increase protections for greater sage-grouse across more than 70 million acres of federal lands in 10 western states. The case argues that new land use plans adopted by the Forest Service and BLM fail to address climate change and…

Sheep Experiment Station Followup Case
Status: PENDING

Sheep Experiment Station Followup Case

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

December 23, 2019 — Advocates for the West filed a motion for summary judgment in this case, accompanied by seven declarations from scientific experts and witnesses in support of our case. February 20, 2019 – Advocates for the West filed suit on behalf of Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians in our latest…