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.

Kilgore Mine Exploration Followup Case

Case: Idaho Conservation League and Greater Yellowstone Coalition v. U.S. Forest Service

January 10, 2023 — Advocates for the West filed our reply brief on summary judgment. November 1, 2022 — Advocates for the West filed our opening brief in support of a motion for summary judgment. May 26, 2022 — Advocates for the West filed a new complaint challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s latest approval of…

Stanislaus Winter Travel

Case: Motion to Intervene by WildEarth Guardians and California Wilderness Coalition

November 10, 2022 — Advocates for the West filed a reply brief arguing that the Forest Service failed to consider important information and offered conclusions inconsistent with facts in the record regarding over-snow vehicle impacts to Sierra Nevada red fox, Pacific marten, Sierra Nevada yellow- legged frog, and Yosemite toad. The brief also urges the…

Sage Hen Project Logging

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

October 19, 2022 — Advocates for the West reached a settlement requiring the Forest Service to develop an additional alternative with reduced road construction and commercial logging for the Sage Hen Restoration Project on Idaho’s Boise National Forest. December 20, 2021 — Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit on behalf of Idaho Conservation League (ICL)…

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 Water Reallocation

Case: WaterWatch of Oregon Northwest Environmental Defense Center and WildEarth Guardians v. Army Corps of Engineers and R.D. James

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…

Sonoran Desert National Monument Followup Case

Case: Western Watersheds Project and Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management

August 9, 2023 — Advocates for the West won our lawsuit, halting livestock grazing authorizations in the Sonoran Desert National Monument. For the second time, a judge determined that the Bureau of Land Management relied on faulty information to justify livestock grazing on fragile desert landscapes within the Monument. March 22, 2023 — Advocates for…

Oil & Gas Leases in Sage-Grouse Habitat

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

January 5, 2024 — Advocates for the West won a victory upholding our June 2021 Phase Two win suspending new drilling and fracking on 605 federal oil and gas leases. U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Raymond Patricco addressed two motions in his ruling. First, Judge Patricco denied an industry motion effectively seeking to allow the drilling of new…

Caldwell Canyon Phosphate Mine

Case: Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, and WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Mary D'Aversa, and U.S. Department of the Interior

June 2, 2023 — Advocates for the West won another major victory when a federal judge fully vacated a set of approvals by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) authorizing development of the Caldwell Canyon phosphate mine. The Court said that any economic burdens caused by its decision to vacate the BLM’s prior approvals for…

Logging in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide

Case: Friends of the Clearwater v. Cheryl F. Probert and U.S. Forest Service

January 3, 2023 — Advocates for the West received affirmation of our June 2022 victory on behalf of Friends of the Clearwater to protect old growth forests on Idaho’s Salmon-Clearwater Divide. The U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho denied the Forest Service’s motion to amend the prior decision ordering the agency to conduct…

Sheep Experiment Station Followup Case

Case: Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, and Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, and USDA Agricultural Research Service

April 16, 2021 — A federal judge 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…