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.

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

February 3, 2021 – Advocates for the West filed a direct testimony from our clients in this case, calling out BPA’s insufficient consideration of the impacts of its ratemaking plan on fish and wildlife in the Columbia River Basin, specifically threatened wild salmon and steelhead populations October 5, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed a motion…

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…

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

December 16, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed a brief defending the Phase One victory last February, which vacated oil and gas leases in sage-grouse habitats. 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…

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…