End of year donations will keep Western Watersheds Project going strong !

WWP is funded by the financial contributions of our members, and without your help we could not carry out our critically important and successful work to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife.

Nothing speaks more clearly than a good photograph about why WWP works so hard to change the management of western public lands. Please take a look at this photo taken in October 2008 of a riparian landscape degraded by cattle on Forest Service administered lands in the Little Lost River watershed of central Idaho.

Photo © Dr. John Carter

Photo © Dr. John Carter

WWP toured this location with the District Ranger in order to bring to her attention the need to permanently protect this watershed so it can recover from decades of livestock abuse.

Changing this kind of irresponsible management takes dedicated staff and good lawyers, and WWP has both. In 2008 our legal docket and protests and appeals of BLM and Forest Service decisions have grown dramatically and reflects our improved capability and impact.

A few of our legal actions and administrative appeal successes include:

  • Litigation winning protection for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep on the Payette and Nez Perce National Forests in Idaho through the removal of domestic sheep that transmit fatal lung disease to bighorns.
  • Litigation over the failure of the BLM to assess the impacts of livestock grazing in the Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona.
  • Litigation of the BLM and Forest Service’s use of illegal Categorical Exclusions across the west to reauthorize livestock grazing on hundreds of grazing allotments.
  • Litigation in Washington State to protect imperiled sage grouse and steelhead trout on State Wildlife Areas from abusive livestock grazing.
  • Endangered Species Act Litigation to protect pygmy rabbits, mountain quail, sharp tailed grouse and the increasingly rare Big Lost River whitefish.
  • Litigation in Wyoming to overturn the newly revised Bighorn National Forest Plan that illegally refused to assess livestock grazing.
  • Litigation to require environmental analysis of domestic sheep grazing impacts on bighorn sheep and large predators on the Sheep Experiment Station operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in northeast Idaho.
  • A successful administrative appeal that overturned a very bad BLM grazing decision affecting 800,000 acres in southwest Wyoming.
  • Another successful BLM administrative appeal that removed cattle from the Yankee Jim allotment in northern California.
  • A successful Appeal of a bad Forest Service grazing decision in the Whetstone Mountains of southern Arizona

WWP has also filed many additional administrative protests and appeals of irresponsible grazing decisions that would degrade native wildlife and fish habitat on both BLM and Forest Service administered lands in Montana, Colorado, Utah, Oregon and South Dakota.

Those efforts are augmented by our annual fieldwork. This year WWP had six seasonal monitors working in Idaho, Wyoming and Utah in addition to our full-time staff of twelve who are in the field in seven states.

Here is a photo of WWP staff at Charcoal Creek in Copper Basin (central Idaho) before a day of fieldwork in June 2008:

Jeremy Greenberg, Beth Pearson, Tucker the dog, David Stilwill, Bob Wagenknecht, Nick Bright, Dr. John Carter, Larry Zuckerman, Ethan Asher and Jon Marvel

From left: Jeremy Greenberg, Beth Pearson, Tucker the dog, David Stilwill, Bob Wagenknecht, Nick Bright, Dr. John Carter, Larry Zuckerman, Ethan Asher and Jon Marvel

In October 2008, WWP had 28 full and part-time payroll and contract staff at work across the west. Western Watersheds Project currently has offices in Arizona, California, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and four in Idaho. In addition we are bringing better management to public lands on National Forests and BLM landscapes in South Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Nevada.

2008 has been a remarkable year for WWP.  With Barack Obama taking office in January 2009, WWP looks forward to an even more productive year with greatly improved relationships with the federal land managers across the west.

For much more detailed information about how WWP is protecting and restoring western watersheds and wildlife please visit the WWP web site.

Please join us with a generous end-of-the-year contribution with online at WWP’s secure donation web page:

Diverse grasses follow rest from livestock grazing on your public land in central Idaho.  Photo © Brian Ertz

Diverse grasses follow rest from livestock grazing on your public land in central Idaho. Photo © Brian Ertz

With best wishes for a bright New Year from all of us at Western Watersheds Project !

Jon Marvel
Executive Director
Western Watersheds Project

Brian Ertz is WWP’s Media Director and Ralph Maughan sits on WWP’s Board of Directors

About The Author

Brian Ertz

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December 2008


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey