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

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…

San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area Grazing

Case: Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity, and Sierra Club v. Anthony (Scott) Feldhausen, BLM Arizona State Director, and Bureau of Land Management

August 1, 2022 — Advocates for the West filed a settlement agreement sending the Bureau of Land Management back to its planning desk to reconsider the impacts of livestock grazing on the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. The settlement compels the Bureau to reconsider the compatibility of grazing authorizations on four allotments within the…

Gas Drilling in Pronghorn Migration Path

Case: Upper Green River Alliance, Western Watersheds Project, and Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management and William Perry Pendley

March 14, 2023 — Advocates for the West filed our reply brief on appeal. October 28, 2022 — Advocates for the West filed our opening brief on appeal, requesting that the Court reverse the judgment of the district court and remand with instructions to vacate the NPL project’s record of decision and environmental impact statement. May 10,…

Antelope Allotment Grazing Followup

Case: Concerned Friends of the Winema, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Western Watersheds Project, Oregon Wild, and Central Oregon Bitterbrush Broads of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness v. Douglas C. McKay, Barry L. Imler, U.S. Forest Service, Laurie Sada, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

October 26, 2023 — Advocates for the West and our partners won a strong victory to protect Oregon spotted frogs on Jack Creek in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) fell short of its obligations under the Endangered Species Act when issuing a Biological Opinion…

Kilgore Mine Exploration in Centennial Mountains

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

May 4, 2020 — The U.S. District Court in Idaho revoked the Forest Service’s approval of the Kilgore Project and stopped Otis Gold Corp. (now Excellon Resources Inc.) from moving forward with its exploration project. This important decision follows Judge Winmill’s December 2019 ruling that the Forest Service failed to consider Otis’s underground drilling as a…

Salmon and Steelhead Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers

Case: Columbia Riverkeeper v. Scott Pruitt, Administrator of EPA

May 19, 2020 — EPA released its TMDL to control heat pollution in the Columbia and Snake rivers. EPA’s plan is further evidence that removing the four Lower Snake River dams is necessary to restore salmon and orcas. March 30, 2020 – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the EPA’s petition to rehear this case….

Duck Creek Livestock Grazing

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. Interior Board of Land Appeals & U.S. Department of the Interior

February 17, 2021 – Advocates for the West filed our opening brief with the 10th Circuit Court requesting a reversal of the district court’s erroneous dismissal for lack of Article III standing. Our brief argues that the Court should hold a 2017 decision of the Interior Board of Land Appeals as unlawful and force the defendants…

Sage-Grouse RMP Challenge

Case: Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity and Prairie Hills Audubon Society v. David Bernhardt, Joseph R. Balash, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service

February 11, 2021 – U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled strongly in our favor on this case, overturning a Trump Administration decision to strip protections from 10 million acres, mostly in Nevada and Idaho, to allow mining in critical habitat for greater sage-grouse. The court upheld our claim that the BLM failed to provide a…

Bonneville Power Administration Ratemaking

Case: Petition to Intervene with Bonneville Power Administration

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…