We WIN for the WEST

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.

Wildlife Services Wolf-Killing in Idaho

Case: Western Watersheds Project, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians, and Predator Defense

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…

Devil’s Corral Water Rights

Case: In the Matter of Application for Permit

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. Devils…

Salmon and Steelhead Die-Offs in Columbia and Snake Rivers

Case: Columbia Riverkeeper v. Scott Pruitt, Administrator of EPA

May 19, 2020 — EPA released its TMDL to control heat pollution in the Columbia and Snake rivers. EPA’s plan is further evidence that removing the four Lower Snake River dams is necessary to restore salmon and orcas. March 30, 2020 – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the EPA’s petition to rehear this case….

Sage-Grouse RMP Challenge

Case: Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity and Prairie Hills Audubon Society v. David Bernhardt, Joseph R. Balash, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service

February 11, 2021 – U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled strongly in our favor on this case, overturning a Trump Administration decision to strip protections from 10 million acres, mostly in Nevada and Idaho, to allow mining in critical habitat for greater sage-grouse. The court upheld our claim that the BLM failed to provide a…

Atlanta Gold Followup Case

Case: Idaho Conservation League and Northwest Environmental Defense Center

September 19, 2019 — Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush found that Atlanta Gold still has not fully complied with its clean water permit or prior court orders to do so. This action is the latest in a series of suits we first filed in 2011 to force Atlanta Gold to comply with the Clean…

Sawtooth National Forest Water Diversions

Case: Idaho Conservation League v. U.S. Forest Service

August 25, 2021 — Advocates for the West secured a victory in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to protect threatened Idaho salmon, steelhead, and bull trout from irrigation water diversions in Idaho’s Sawtooth Valley. The Ninth Circuit decision upholds our lower court win that requires the U.S. Forest Service to consult with experts and protect…

Mogollon Rim Cattle Grazing

Case: Neighbors of the Mogollon Rim, Inc. v. U.S. Forest Service

October 11, 2018 — Advocates for the West just reached an agreement with the Forest Service to keep the beautiful forested area below the Mogollon Rim in the Tonto National Forest free from livestock grazing for the foreseeable future. The area will remain cattle-free while the agency assesses whether grazing is compatible with the landscape and how it may affect…

Winter Travel Plan Follow-up Case

Case: Winter Wildlands Alliance and WildEarth Guardians v. U.S. Forest Service

March of 2018 — The Forest Service withdrew its winter travel maps and committed to conduct winter travel planning on each of the three forests listed in our case – the Boise and Payette National Forests in Idaho and a portion of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. We agreed to dismiss the case based…

Idaho Wildlife Services Environmental Assessment

Case: Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, Center for Biological Diversity, and Predator Defense v. USDA APHIS Wildlife Services

August 31, 2018 – Advocates for the West filed our remedies brief in this case, seeking interim injunctive relief and asking the Court to order Wildlife Services to prepare a legally adequate Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision within 3 years of the remedies order. June 22, 2018 – Advocates for the West won a…

Galena Mine Clean Water Notice of Intent to Sue

Case: Notice Of Intent To Sue U.S. Silver-Idaho, Inc. and Americas Silver Corporation Over Violations of the Clean Water Act

April 19, 2018 — Advocates for the West reached a settlement agreement with U.S. Silver over its violations. 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…