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: 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

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…

Caldwell Canyon Phosphate Mine
Status: PENDING

Caldwell Canyon Phosphate Mine

Case: Case 1:21-cv-00182-REB

January 24, 2023 — A federal judge ruled that the Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately assess environmental harms, including harms to vital habitat for the imperiled sage grouse, in approving the Caldwell Canyon phosphate mine. The ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho determined that the Bureau violated the National…

Logging in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide
Status: WON
June 24, 2022

Logging in the Salmon-Clearwater Divide

Case: Case 3:21-cv-00189-CWD

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
Status: WON
April 16, 2021

Sheep Experiment Station Followup Case

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

April 16, 2021 — A federal 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 pastures…

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

September 1, 2021 – U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez issued a final opinion and order directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service to immediately undertake new measures at dams in the Willamette basin to prevent the extinction of threatened Upper Willamette River wild spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead. In the…

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

October 5, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed a motion for partial summary judgment and we are now moving for a court order requiring BPA to disclose documents to us at an accelerated pace. June 26, 2020 — Advocates for the West filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the Bonneville…

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: SETTLED

Challenging Wildlife Killing Program in Idaho

Case: Case 1:20-cv-00213-DCN

June 24, 2022 — Advocates for the West and our partners filed a settlement agreement in federal court that will help protect Idaho’s native carnivores through a number of measures. The settlement gives Wildlife Services until the end of 2024 to complete a new environmental review of its activities on federal lands, and mandates that…