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 Navigability
Status: PENDING

Salmon River Navigability

Case: Salmon River Navigability challenge by Idaho Conservation League

In January 2014, Advocates for the West’s Staff Attorney Bryan Hurlbutt filed a petition on behalf of the Idaho Conservation League asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revisit its determination from the 1930′s that Idaho’s Salmon River is not navigable. Because of this flawed determination, the Salmon River and endangered fish species are not receiving important…

Wildlife Services FOIAs
Status: SETTLED

Wildlife Services FOIAs

Case: Wildlife Services FOIAs

Advocates for the West is helping our client Western Watersheds Project keep an eye on the notorious wildlife-killing agency, Wildlife Services. The agency kills thousands of animals around the West every year.  In 2012, the agency killed over 3,000 coyotes in Idaho alone. The methods used include cruel and dangerous ones, such as foot-hold traps,…

California BLM FOIA
Status: SETTLED

California BLM FOIA

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. BLM, et al.

This case challenges BLM’s failure to fully respond to several Freedom of Information Act requests that have been pending for over two and a half years.  Client Western Watersheds Project requested information through FOIA about the formulation of three California BLM Resource Management Plans, in important areas home to Greater sage-grouse. FOIA is a critical…

Cave Lake Sage-Grouse Habitat Protection
Status: DISMISSED

Cave Lake Sage-Grouse Habitat Protection

Case: WWP vs BLM – Cave Lake, NV

In a case led by Senior Attorney Todd Tucci, Advocates for the West filed a complaint on behalf of Western Watersheds Project to protect 145,000 acres of public lands in the Ely district of Nevada, which contains key sage-grouse habitat. This is a follow-up case to our broader, ongoing lawsuit challenging 16 BLM Resource Management Plans in Idaho, Nevada, Utah,…

Sonoran Desert National Monument Followup Case
Status: WON
February 26, 2015

Sonoran Desert National Monument Followup Case

Case: 2:13-cv-01028-PGR

This case is a follow-up to one we filed in 2008 that resulted in a settlement agreement forcing BLM to complete a new management plan for the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The Monument Proclamation determined that BLM could only permit livestock grazing in the area if it was compatible with protecting the natural resources on the monument, such as various plant…

Little Lost River Bull Trout
Status: PENDING

Little Lost River Bull Trout

Case: WWP v. USFWS, 4:13-cv-176-BLW

Advocates for the West filed a new action in April 2013 to protect bull trout in the Little Lost River watershed in central Idaho, on behalf of client Western Watersheds Project. The beautiful Little Lost River valley is bordered on the west by the highest range in Idaho – the Lost River Range – and on…

Salmon River Suction Dredging
Status: PENDING

Salmon River Suction Dredging

Case: CVOC1218520

On October 12, 2012, Advocates for the West filed a Petition for Judicial Review on behalf of Idaho Conservation League challenging the State of Idaho’s approval of a riverbed mineral lease to Mike Conklin. The lease would have allowed Mr. Conklin to intensively suction dredge a half-mile segment of the bed of Idaho’s famed Salmon River approximately 13…

Camas Creek Fisheries
Status: SETTLED

Camas Creek Fisheries

Case: 4:12-cv-00197-BLW

Advocates for the West, representing Western Watersheds Project, filed this suit to protect the wild salmonids of Camas Creek. Those who have rafted the Middle Fork Salmon River know that Camas Creek is a beautiful tributary of that river, flows in large part within the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, and is home to…

Medicine Bow Bighorn Sheep
Status: PENDING

Medicine Bow Bighorn Sheep

Case: Biodiversity Conservation Alliance v. Blazer, case no. 12-cv-073 (D. Wyoming)

Advocates for the West filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service in Wyoming over the agency’s revised Forest Plan for the Medicine Bow National Forest. In the Medicine Bow Revised Forest Plan, the Forest Service provided measures to protect two bighorn sheep herds on the Forest, but admitted that a third herd on the Forest…

Steens Mountain Wind Development
Status: WON
May 26, 2016

Steens Mountain Wind Development

Case: 3:12-cv-596-MO (D.Oregon)

On behalf of the Oregon Natural Desert Association and the Audubon Society of Portland, Advocates for the West challenged the BLM’s approval of a lengthy transmission line across southeastern Oregon’s Steens Mountain, one of the jewels of the West. The North Steens transmission line would facilitate construction of an industrial-scale wind power project on a private…