HOW the WEST is WON
The groundwork has been laid. Many wild spaces in the West remain rugged, varied, and open—largely because they have been designated to stay that way by presidential and congressional decree. A vast network of public lands stretch across the West, protected in theory – but not always in practice.
Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and other agencies, the federal government oversees hundreds of millions of acres of land—and the air, water and wildlife they hold—in the West.
But too often, the very agencies designated to protect the West’s natural treasures allow grazing, mining, energy development and other destructive practices to pollute, damage, and destroy. We step in to hold these agencies accountable to law and science.
Advocates for the West is the legal voice that speaks up when the environment calls for it. We partner pro bono with conservation groups to help enforce the bedrock environmental statutes now in place to protect our public lands.
We win or favorably settle over 85% of our cases. When we do, it advances the endeavors of every conservation group in the West.
We wield law and science to stand our ground. Nowadays, it’s how the West is won.
Case: Snowlands Network et al Vs. US Forest Service
Advocates for the West is representing Snowlands Network, Winter Wildlands Alliance and Center for Biological Diversity in a case regarding better management of snowmobile use on National Forest land in California. Snowmobiles create air pollution through emissions that far surpass those of regular passenger cars, run over trees and shrubs, damaging the vegetation, and scare wildlife….
Case: Western Watersheds Project & Center for Biological Diversity v. BLM; 3:11-CV-53 (DCt); 11-15799 (9th Cir.)
This case challenged a poorly-sited wind facility consisting of 75 wind turbines (each over 400 feet tall) as well as over 25 miles of new roads on BLM public land in Spring Valley, Nevada (east of Ely). The facility near Great Basin National Park would be only 4 miles from a regionally-significant bat roost known…
Case: No filing
The Ruby pipeline is a project of El Paso Pipeline Corp., the country’s largest pipeline company, which will cover 650 miles from southwestern Wyoming to southern Oregon. The Ruby pipeline will carry 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, providing a coal substitute for utilities on the West Coast. But the Ruby pipeline…
Case: Lazy Y Ranch v. Wiggins, 06-cv-340-MHW (D. Idaho)
Executive Director Laird Lucas has brought a series of lawsuits against the Idaho State Land Board over the last decade, based on their refusal to award school land leases to conservationists seeking to pay more money to protect and restore the lands. The Idaho Supreme Court has issued several decisions, all holding that it violates…
Case: WWP v. Wood et al., No. 09-cv-368 (D. Idaho)
This action challenges Forest Service and BLM violations of the Endangered Species Act in failing to carry out consulations with US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries over impacts of livestock grazing, irrigation diversions, and other management actions upon salmon, steelhead and bull trout in the Lemhi River watershed of central Idaho. The Lemhi River…