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.

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,…

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…

Fossil Creek
Status: WON
January 23, 2012

Fossil Creek

Case: Center for Biological Diversity v. Provencio & USFS, 10-cv-330 (D.Az)

Challenge to Forest Service grazing management in Fossil Creek Range allotment of the Coconino National Forest in central Arizona, which is harming habitat for the threatened Chiricahua leopard frog, Yuma clapper rail, Southwestern willow flycatcher and other imperiled species. The grazing also impairs wilderness values of the Fossil Springs and Mazatzal Wilderness Areas by causing…

Pygmy Rabbit Not Warranted for ESA Listing
Status: DISMISSED

Pygmy Rabbit Not Warranted for ESA Listing

Case: Pygmy Rabbit "Not Warranted for ESA Listing", 11-462

Advocates for the West sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its refusal to protect the pygmy rabbit as an threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. The pygmy rabbit is a native rabbit once found throughout the Great Basin, in recent years rabbit populations and habitat have been eliminated or destroyed by…

US Forest Service Travel Management Plans Exclude Snowmobiles
Status: WON
March 29, 2013

US Forest Service Travel Management Plans Exclude Snowmobiles

Case: US Forest Service travel management plans exclude snowmobiles

On behalf of Winter Wildlands Alliance, Advocates for the West brought a case against the U.S. Forest Service for not managing and regulating snowmobiles as it does other off-road vehicles. In 2005, the Forest Service issued a new rule that requires every national forest to designate what trails and areas are open to off-road vehicle use and…