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

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

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

February 8, 2023 — Advocates for the West filed our opening brief on remedies, urging the Court to vacate the Caldwell Canyon Record of Decision, Environmental Impact Statement, and all decisions relying on those documents. January 24, 2023 — A federal judge ruled that the Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately assess environmental harms,…

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 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

Case: WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project v. Kristin Bail and U.S. Forest Service

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

Case: Northwest Environmental Defense Center, WildEarth Guardians, and Native Fish Society v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Marine Fisheries Service

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

Case: Advocates for the West v. Bonneville Power Administration

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

Case: WildEarth Guardians, Western Watersheds Project, and Kettle Range Conservation Group V. US Forest Service

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

Case: WildEarth Guardians and Western Watersheds Project V. U.S. Forest Service

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

Case: Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, and Predator Defense v. USDA Aphis, USDA Aphis Wildlife Services, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management

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…