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.

Stibnite Mine Air Quality Permit
Status: PENDING

Stibnite Mine Air Quality Permit

Case: Nez Perce Tribe, Idaho Conservation League, and Save the South Fork Salmon v. Idaho Department of Environmental Quality

July 22, 2022 — Advocates for the West appealed an air quality permit issued by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to Perpetua Resources Idaho, Inc. for its proposed Stibnite Gold Project. We represent the Nez Perce Tribe and Idaho Conservation League in this appeal, which was filed together with Save the South Fork Salmon. Over the prior two years,…

Removal of Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands
Status: PENDING

Removal of Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands

Case: Case 1:22-cv-01891

June 30, 2022 — Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management over a Trump-era decision authorizing extensive destruction of native pinyon-juniper habitats across the American West without requiring prior analysis and public disclosure of possible environmental impacts. The so-called “Pinyon-Juniper Categorial Exclusion Rule” allows the agency to approve eliminating…

Rangeland Pesticide Spraying
Status: PENDING

Rangeland Pesticide Spraying

Case: Case 3:22-CV-00790

May 31, 2022 — Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit challenging the federal U.S. Department of Agriculture’s highly secretive Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) over its program allowing insecticide spraying on millions of acres in 17 western states. The lawsuit focuses on the harm from the insecticide spray program in Montana, Wyoming,…

Kilgore Mine Exploration Followup Case
Status: PENDING

Kilgore Mine Exploration Followup Case

Case: Case 1:22-cv-00225-REP

May 26, 2022 — Advocates for the West filed a new complaint challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s latest approval of the Kilgore gold exploration project in the Centennial Mountains in Idaho. Following previous court rulings, the Forest Service in November 2021 issued a new Environmental Assessment and again approved the project. Notably absent from the…

Stanislaus Winter Travel
Status: PENDING

Stanislaus Winter Travel

Case: Case No. 2:21-CV-01913-JAM-DB

July 29, 2022 — Advocates for the West filed an opening summary judgment brief asking the Court to uphold minimum snow-depth requirements and restrictions, which are being challenged by snowmobile groups, on where over-snow vehicles can travel within the Stanislaus National Forest. At the same time, we are bringing our own challenges to the new…

Sage Hen Project Logging
Status: PENDING

Sage Hen Project Logging

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, No. 1:21-cv-00504-CWD

December 20, 2021 — Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit on behalf of Idaho Conservation League (ICL) against the U.S. Forest Service for failing to comply with environmental laws when it approved the 20-year Sage Hen Integrated Forest Restoration Project. The project includes extensive road construction, logging, thinning, and prescribed fire, plus some watershed restoration…

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…