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.

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

January 24, 2019 – Advocates for the West filed suit to halt the Rio Grande National Forest decision to graze domestic sheep within the habitat range of bighorn herds. The suit, filed on behalf of WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project, asserts that the forest managers knew the risk that domestic sheep would pose to bighorn, yet…

Bonneville Power Administration Ratemaking
Status: PENDING

Bonneville Power Administration Ratemaking

Case: Petition to Intervene

December 14, 2018 – BPA granted our motion to intervene, which will give us a real opportunity to dig into the true cost of the Lower Snake River dams. December 11, 2018 – Advocates for the West filed a petition to intervene with the Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) Joint Power and Transmission Rate Proceeding for the 2020-2021…

Willamette River Salmon and Steelhead
Status: PENDING

Willamette River Salmon and Steelhead

Case: 3:18-cv-00437-JR

Upper Willamette River wild spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead are facing the threat of extinction due largely to dam operations in Oregon’s Willamette River basin. Advocates for the West filed an emergency injunction in federal court to compel the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) to make immediate operational changes at four of…

BPA–Idaho Accord Extension
Status: PENDING

BPA–Idaho Accord Extension

Case: NA

September 26, 2018 – Advocates for the West submitted comments on the draft Bonneville Power Administration’s Idaho Accord extension agreement on behalf of Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Rivers United, Idaho Wildlife Federation and Idaho Chapter of the Sierra Club. In August 2018, we sent a letter to BPA expressing concern over the lack of public notice and…

Idaho Wildlife Services Environmental Assessment
Status: WON
June 22, 2018

Idaho Wildlife Services Environmental Assessment

Case: Western Watersheds Project et al. vs. USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, Case No. 1:17-cv-206

August 31, 2018 – Advocates for the West filed our remedies brief in this case, seeking interim injunctive relief and asking the Court to order Wildlife Services to prepare a legally adequate Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision within 3 years of the remedies order.   June 22, 2018 – Advocates for the West won…

Devil’s Corral Water Rights
Status: FAVORABLY-DISMISSED

Devil’s Corral Water Rights

Case: In the Matter of Application for Permit No. 36-7999 (Devils Corral LLC)

February 27, 2018 – Advocates for the West represents the Committee for Idaho’s High Desert (CIHD) in this water right protest. Devil’s Corral Spring is a 3/4-mile long river that flows into the Snake River just upstream of Shoshone Falls. Fed by the Snake River Plain Aquifer, Devil’s Corral Spring is clean and free flowing…

Idaho Water Quality: Hells Canyon Pollution
Status: PENDING

Idaho Water Quality: Hells Canyon Pollution

Case: Petition filed with EPA

On March 9, 2015, Advocates for the West filed a petition (linked below) on behalf of the Idaho Conservation League asking the US Environmental Protection Agency to revise Idaho’s Hells Canyon Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), which creates a plan to address excessive nutrient pollution by reducing phosphorus levels and meeting water quality standards on this stretch of…

South Beaverhead Bighorn Sheep
Status: WON
November 20, 2017

South Beaverhead Bighorn Sheep

Case: Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians vs. U.S. Forest Service, Case No. 1:17-cv-434

October 17, 2017 – Advocates for the West is seeking an emergency injunction to halt authorization of domestic sheep grazing that threatens to extirpate a small, sensitive population of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in the South Beaverhead Mountains of Idaho. We filed a motion requesting a temporary restraining order to halt plans by the USDA Sheep Experiment Station…

Willamette River Wild Fish
Status: PENDING

Willamette River Wild Fish

Case: NEDC et al V. US Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service

March 13, 2018 – Advocates for the West filed suit against the US Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service. Our suit challenges agency operation and maintenance of the Willamette River Basin Flood Control Project (Willamette Project) for violating the Endangered Species Act. The current operation of the Willamette Project’s dams and reservoirs cause significant…

Sheeprocks Sage-Grouse Appeal
Status: PENDING

Sheeprocks Sage-Grouse Appeal

Case: Notice of Appeal-Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity, and American Bird Conservancy vs. Bureau of Land Management

On October 31, 2017, Advocates for the West filed an administrative appeal and petition for stay of BLM’s decision to lease priority sage-grouse habitat in central Utah for oil and gas development. The auctioned parcels are home to the isolated and imperiled Sheeprocks population of greater sage-grouse. The Sheeprocks population experienced a nearly 40 percent decrease over the…