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.

Whiskey South timber sale

Case: Idaho Conservation League and Friends of the Clearwater v. K. Lynn Bennett, Bureau of Land Management, Abigail Kimball, and United States Forest Service

BLM proposed to log over 12 million board feet of old growth forests in the South Fork Clearwater basin of central Idaho, asserting that risks of beetle infestation and wildfire required the logging.  After a week long trial where we called several expert witnesses to show those arguments were not accurate, the federal court enjoined the logging…

Clearwater — Lolo Creek Timber Sales

Case: The Ecology Center, et al., v. Abigal Kimbell, et al.

We won an injunction in 2004 preventing the Clearwater National Forest from proceeding with two adjoining timber sales in the Lolo Creek watershed of central Idaho, to protect habitat of imperilled fish — including salmon, steelhead, and bull trout. Even though the Forest Service developed the two sales — called “White/White” and “Brick/Trout” — at the…

Clearwater Old Growth

Case: The Wilderness Society et al v. Bosworth

Representing a broad coalition of national, state and local conservation groups, we brought this case in 1997 to stop Forest Service plans to log old growth forests in the Clearwater region of central Idaho — including the headwaters of the Lochsa and North Fork Clearwater rivers.   The case focused on how logging and logging roads…

Squaw Valley/Spanish Ranch

Case: Western Watersheds Project v. Bureau of Land Management and Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Inc

This administrative appeal before the Office of Hearings and Appeals in the Department of Interior challenged BLM’s authorization of grazing on the Squaw Valley and Spanish Ranch allotments of northern Nevada, where Barrick Goldstrike — a major gold mining company — has purchased several ranches and is running livestock on them. Following an evidentiary hearing, the…

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…

Sawtooth Wolves

Case: Western Watersheds Project and Idaho Conservation League v. Sawtooth National Forest, Bill Levere, and U.S. Forest Service

Advocates for the West bring this case forward to address the issue of grazing in the Sawtooth National Recreational Area (SNRA). We represented Idaho Conservation League who argued that the U.S. National Forest Service failed to do a proper environmental analysis on the effect grazing would have to the wolf population in the SNRA. The…