In the West, water is a scarce and precious resource. It’s what we drink. It’s what entire ecosystems rely upon to thrive.

Now more than ever, our water is on the line. This limited public resource is so often thoughtlessly misused, mismanaged, and laid waste by corporate interests.

Our water-focused cases employ the Clean Water Act, the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, other environmental laws, and basic common sense to stop pollution, protect streams and watersheds, and improve water quality, bar none.

Salmon River Suction Dredging

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. State Board of Land Commissioners and Idaho Department of Lands

November 5, 2012 — Mr. Conklin abandoned his proposal and withdrew his lease application, which is a great victory for all who enjoy the beauty of the Salmon River! 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…

Idaho Water Quality Standards

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. United States Environmental Protection Agency

January 3, 2012 — Advocates for the West filed a complaint on behalf of Idaho Conservation League against EPA for failing to comply with its duty under the Clean Water Act to either approve or disapprove Idaho water quality standards which aim to protect people who consume fish caught in Idaho’s lakes and rivers from…

Atlanta Gold

Case: Idaho Conservation League and Northwest Environmental Defense Center v. Atlanta Gold Corporations

July 19, 2012 — Advocates for the West received a strong decision from US District Court Judge Williams in our case against Atlanta Gold Corporation for its ongoing pollution of the treasured Boise River watershed. Judge Williams ordered Atlanta Gold Corp. to come into compliance with the Clean Water Act by October 31, 2012 and…

CuMo Mine

Case: Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Rivers Unites, and Golden Eagle Audubon Society v. U.S. National Forest

August 29, 2012 — US District Court Judge Edward Lodge ruled in our favor, finding that the Forest Service was arbitrary and capricious in approving the exploration without first considering the potential for water contamination caused by drilling numerous deep wells in an area littered with historic mining waste.  Judge Lodge vacated the Forest Service’s…

Mega-loads on Highway 12

Case: Linwood Laughy et al. v. Conocophillips, Emmert International, and Idaho Transportation Department

As a result of our work, the Conoco transport was delayed for five months and only 1 of the 207 loads envisioned by Exxon traveled on Highway 12. Exxon was forced to cut the remaining loads in half and transport them along other routes. February 23, 2011 — Advocates for the West has filed a…

Atlanta Mine

Case: Snake River Basin Adjudication subcases 63-2446 et seq.

Atlanta, Idaho is a small town that once saw extensive mining operations; but all commercial mining stopped by 1963 when the ore played out.  Recently, a mining company has proposed to develop a large, cyanide heap-leach mine at the Atlanta site, which is located on the Middle Fork of the Boise River — the headwaters…

Arsenic water quality standards

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. Stephen L. Johnson

April 1, 2009 — The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency signed a settlement agreement that required the EPA to approve or disapprove the Pending Arsenic and Cadmium revisions. July 7, 2008 — Advocates for the West presented Stephan L. Johnson, the administrator of EPA a letter of intent to sue….

Otter Creek Diversion Challenge

Case: IWP v. Jones

Endangered Species Act citizen suit against Verl and Tuddie Jones for unlawful “take” of threatened bull trout through operation of their unscreened diversion on Otter Creek, located on Salmon Challis National Forest public lands. We won an injunction prohibiting further diversions until the irrigator obtained a special use permit from US Forest Service, and it conducted ESA consultation…

Herd Creek diversion

Case: IWP v. Bennetts

Endangered Species Act citizen suit against Jim Bennetts for unlawful “take” of threatened salmon, steelhead, and bull trout associated with his unscreened public lands diversions on Herd Creek and Lake Creek (East Fork Salmon River watershed), and because of livestock damage to critical habitat on his base property. After we filed for summary judgment supported by several…

Mahogany Creek diversion

Case: IWP v. Whitworth

Endangered Species Act citizen suit against Judd Whitworth and Sulphur Creek Livestock for unlawful “take” of threatened bull trout through operation of unscreened public lands diversion on Mahogany Creek, tributary to upper Pahsimeroi River. Our experts showed that the Mahogany Creek diversion would likely “take” bull trout through entrainment into the unscreened ditch, which continued…