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.
Devil’s Corral Water Rights
Case: In the Matter of Application for Permit No. 36-7999 (Devils Corral LLC)
January 23, 2020 – Facing mounting pressure in our water right protest, the development company Devil’s Corral backed down and asked to withdraw its old 1980s water right application. On January 23, 2020, the Idaho Department of Water Resources dismissed the application, ending Devil’s Corral’s attempts to circumvent Idaho water law and avoid public involvement….
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
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…
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…
Winter Travel Plan Follow-up Case
Case: Case 1:17-cv-00376-CWD
On September 9, 2017, Advocates for the West filed suit against three Intermountain national forests for being the only in the nation to rubber stamp winter travel decisions that are more than 20 years old rather than create new winter travel plans that regulate snowmobile use based on current conditions and up-to-date science. Since the prior…
Galena Mine Clean Water Act Enforcement
Case: Notice Of Intent To Sue
Launching Case to Protect Coeur d’Alene Basin From Mine Pollution On May 17, 2017, Advocates for the West sent a notice of intent to sue to U.S. Silver and its parent corporation Americas Silver Corp., who own and operate the Galena Mine in the Silver Valley of North Idaho. U.S. Silver is violating the Clean Water Act by discharging…
Idaho Wildlife Services 2017 FOIA
Case: Western Watersheds Project vs. USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, Case No. 1:17-cv-197
Finding out What Wildlife Services is up to in our State Advocates for the West filed suit on behalf of Western Watersheds Project, challenging Wildlife Services’ failure to adequately and timely respond to two Freedom of Information Act requests seeking information about Wildlife Services’ activities in Idaho. In both cases, Wildlife Services failed to fully…
Salmon River Suction Dredging
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
Case: Case #1:16-cv-218
March 11, 2020 — Advocates for the West and our allies secured a strong victory in this case in an agreement that sets strict limits on how and where a federal agency can kill wolves in Idaho, bans the use of M-44 “cyanide bombs” statewide, and prohibits the use of snares to kill wolves on…
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…