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.

Salmon River Suction Dredging
Status: PENDING

Salmon River Suction Dredging

Case: n/a

Launching Case to Protect the Salmon River from Suction Dredging   On May 8, 2017, Advocates for the West sent a notice of intent to sue to a suction dredge miner for discharging sediment and other pollutants in Idaho’s Salmon River without a Clean Water Act permit.   What Is Suction Dredging? A suction dredge uses a high pressure,…

Wildlife Services Wolf-Killing in Idaho
Status: DISMISSED

Wildlife Services Wolf-Killing in Idaho

Case: Case #1:16-cv-218

June 1, 2016:  Advocates for the West filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging USDA-Wildlife Services’ killing of gray wolves in Idaho. The agency killed at least 72 wolves in Idaho in 2015, using methods including foothold traps, neck snares and aerial gunning from helicopters. The agency has used aerial gunning in central Idaho’s “Lolo zone” for…

Grazing on Idaho’s East Fork of the Salmon
Status: SETTLED

Grazing on Idaho’s East Fork of the Salmon

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. U.S. Forest Service

  On July 7, 2017, we entered into a settlement agreement with the Forest Service to close the allotments to grazing during 2017 and 2018 – and no livestock will be allowed to return until stream health standards for trout and salmon are fully met. On October 12, 2016, we filed suit challenging the Forest Service’s…

Point Reyes National Seashore
Status: WON
July 12, 2017

Point Reyes National Seashore

Case: RRI, CBD & WWP vs. National Park Service & Cicely Muldoon

February 10, 2016 – Advocates for the West teamed up with the San Francisco-based law firm Keker & Van Nest to file a lawsuit in federal court seeking to require the National Park Service to update its General Management Plan and prepare an Environmental Impact Statement prior to adopting a proposed ranching plan to issue…

CuMo Mining Exploration Project
Status: WON
July 11, 2016

CuMo Mining Exploration Project

Case: Idaho Conservation League et al VS U.S. Forest Service

Advocates for the West is continuing to fight the CuMo Mining Exploration Project in the Boise River watershed. In 2011, we successfully challenged the Forest Service’s approval of CuMo’s intensive plan to build roads, drill pads, and waste pits and to conduct 24/7 drilling in the headwaters of Grimes Creek, a tributary to Mores Creek…

East Boulder Creek Gold Mining
Status: FAVORABLY-DISMISSED

East Boulder Creek Gold Mining

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. U.S. Forest Service, Case No. 4:15-cv-284 (D. Idaho)

Advocates for the West is challenging the Forest Service’s decision to approve gold mining in the Napoleon Ridge Roadless Area on East Boulder Creek without studying the environmental impacts. East Boulder Creek is a tributary to the main Salmon River and is located approximately 11 miles west of North Fork, Idaho. On July 10, the…

Big Wood River Flows
Status: WON
October 7, 2015

Big Wood River Flows

Case: In the Matter of Application for Permits Nos. 37-22682 & 37-22852 in the name of Innovative Mitigation Solutions, LLC

Advocates for the West is working with the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) to protect flows on Idaho’s famous Big Wood River from a private scheme to make money off of unsustainable water use. Innovative Mitigation Solutions (IMS) applied for a water right to divert 154 CFS of water out of the Big Wood and dump…

Oregon Spotted Frog Habitat Protection
Status: SETTLED

Oregon Spotted Frog Habitat Protection

Case: Oregon Spotted Frog Habitat Protection

On July 21, 2015, Advocates for the West’s Senior Attorney Laurie Rule and Staff Attorney Lizzy Zultoski submitted a notice of intent to sue the Bureau of Reclamation on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity. The notice letter alleges that the agency’s operation and maintenance of the Wickiup and Crane Prairie dams on the Deschutes River in Central Oregon…

Oregon Lost River and Shortnose Sucker Habitat Protection
Status: PENDING

Oregon Lost River and Shortnose Sucker Habitat Protection

Case: Oregon Wild, Friends of Living Oregon Waters, and Western Watersheds Project v. Constance Cummins, U.S. Forest Service, Laurie R. Sada, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

July 22, 2015, Advocates for the West’s Senior Attorney Laurie Rule and Staff Attorney Lizzy Zultoski partnered with David H. Becker to file a complaint on behalf of clients Oregon Wild, Friends of Living Oregon Waters, and Western Watersheds Project in U.S. District Court in Medford, Oregon over grazing in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The…

North Idaho Coal & Oil Trains
Status: PENDING

North Idaho Coal & Oil Trains

Case: AFW & ICL challenge proposed coal & oil rail bridge in North Idaho

In August 2014, BNSF Railway announced its intention to build a second rail bridge across Lake Pend Oreille. The bridge would accommodate additional rail traffic carrying crude oil from the Bakken and coal from the Powder River Basin to refineries and ports in the Pacific Northwest. The nearly mile-long new bridge would be located east…