Western Watersheds Project continues our long-term efforts to protect and restore public landscapes across the West:
Western Watersheds Project follows through on its promise to fish and wildlife habitat in the Pahsimeroi River Watershed of central Idaho with an expanded legal effort to enforce the Endangered Species Act.
Western Watersheds Project welcomes Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's newly expressed commitment to conservation on the 27,000,000 acres of public lands in the National Landscape Conservation System, and WWP looks forward to encouraging its tangible application on the ground.
And Western Watersheds Project brings new litigation to protect Mono Basin sage grouse habitat in the beautiful Bodie Hills of California and Nevada.
Please consider making a generous online contribution to support all of Western Watersheds Project’s efforts across the West.
Public land management in the Pahsimeroi River Watershed has been notoriously irresponsible. For decades conservation activists have been highlighting the grazing abuse this remarkable landscape has endured.
Click for Ralph Maughan's photo essay:
Or for Mike Hudak's photo essay:
With the help of Advocates for the West's attorney Kristin Ruether, Western Watersheds Project anticipates yet another victory in a growing series of legal actions taken in the Pahsimeroi River Watershed.
WWP's newly filed Motion for Summary Judgment challenges public land and wildlife management agencies' failure to provide protections for Endangered Species Act listed fish including Steelhead, Chinook salmon, and Bull trout.
Proper management to protect these native fish will similarly benefit a host of other wildlife species in the Pahsimeroi River Watershed.
Secretary Salazar's order follows Congress's designation of the National Landscape Conservation System, 27 million acres of BLM lands designated as particularly valuable including scientific, historic and cultural resources, wilderness and wilderness study areas, wild and scenic rivers, national monuments, national conservation areas, and scenic and historic trails, among others.
Western Watersheds Project welcomes this designation of conservation as the objective for these landscapes and looks forward to assisting the Department of Interior land management agencies to apply Salazar's order for maximum conservation benefit on the ground.
Read more about the order:
The Bodie Hills located north of Mono Lake in Eastern California's Mono County host a variety of important habitat and wildlife including pygmy rabbit, pika, and the Mono Basin Sage grouse that was recently found to be "warranted but precluded" for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
As with so many public landscapes in the West, the Bodie Hills are being severely abused by livestock grazing. Livestock have turned once clean and cool water sources into waste-filled bogs and native wildlife habitat into degraded livestock pastures.
In response to the ongoing mismanagement by the Bureau of Land Management of public lands in the Bodie Hills, Western Watersheds Project has filed litigation with our partners at Wildearth Guardians challenging the Bureau of Land Management's failure to analyze and address its mismanagement affecting the precarious condition of the diminishing Mono Basin Sage Grouse. Once WWP has succesfully won this litigation, the improved habitat for Mono Basin Sage Grouse will also provide protection benefitting native pygmy rabbit, pika, and a host of sagebrush obligate species like Brewer's sparrow and sage thrasher dependent on the Bodie Hills landscape for survival.
Western Watersheds Project is ably represented in this litigation by attorney Natalie Havlina of Advocates for the West's Boise, Idaho office and as local counsel, the Stanford University Law School's Environmental Law Clinic. Thanks Natalie and Stanford !