REPRESENTATIVE CASES

Our firm litigates diverse public interest cases for a variety of clients centered around protection of public lands, wildlife, rivers and wetlands, natural resources, animals in captivity, public health, and open government. Below is a representative list of our litigation victories and other important cases handled at various levels of the federal court system as lead counsel or co-lead counsel (in reverse chronological order).

United States Supreme Court

The Ark Initiative v. Tidwell, No. 16-165 (2016) (filed a petition for certiorari requesting that the Supreme Court review the Forest Service's dramatic shift in how it classifies roadless areas in national forests)

Am. Elec. Power v. State of Connecticut, No. 10-174 (2011) (submitted an amicus brief focusing on the threshold issue of standing in environmental cases, and in particular how the doctrine of standing applies in cases involving common law causes of action)

Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475 (2010) (filed an amicus brief highlighting presumptive remedial principles under the APA and arguing that a district court has various remedies available under NEPA, including vacatur and injunctive relief, which do not first require an evidentiary hearing)

Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, No. 07-1239 (2008) (submitted an amicus brief explaining NEPA’s unique purpose and statutory scheme and arguing that NEPA’s structure allows for injunctive relief to remedy NEPA violations absent unusual circumstances)

Federal Appellate Courts

Nat’l Parks Conservation Ass’n v. Semonite, 916 F.3d 1075 (D.C. Cir. 2019) (set precedent on an issue of first impression in the D.C. Circuit concerning what constitutes a “controversial” action requiring preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement under NEPA)

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals v. U.S Dep’t of Agric., 918 F.3d 151 (D.C. Cir. 2019) (reversed district court’s dismissal of FOIA case concerning the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s removal of online records pertaining to animal welfare laws)

Am. Wild Horse Campaign v. Perdue, 873 F.3d 914 (D.C. Cir. 2017) (overturned the Forest Service’s boundary change that sought to exclude wild horse use from a portion of the Modoc National Forest in violation of NEPA and the APA)

Nevada Association of Counties v. U.S. Dep’t of Interior, 686 Fed. Appx. 407 (9th Cir. 2017) (resisted challenge seeking to compel the Bureau of Land Management to permanently remove wild horses from federal public lands in Nevada under the APA)

Pub. Employees for Envtl. Responsibility v. Hopper, 827 F.3d 1077 (D.C. Cir. 2016) (prevailed in a challenge to the nation’s first offshore wind energy project authorized by the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management for violating the ESA and APA with respect to federally protected whales and birds)

Dine Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment v. Jewell, No. 15-2130 (10th Cir. 2016) (filed amicus brief examining the circuit split in applying the preliminary injunction factors and arguing for the Tenth Circuit’s continued application of the serious questions test)

State of Wyoming v. U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, 839 F.3d 938 (10th Cir. 2016) (defeated an action by the State of Wyoming seeking to compel the Bureau of Land Management to permanently remove federally protected wildlife from public lands in Wyoming)

Am. Wild Horse Pres. Campaign v. Jewell, 847 F.3d 1174 (10th Cir. 2016) (secured precedent on an issue of first impression ruling that agencies may not treat public lands as private in managing wildlife and other natural resources)

Federal Trial Courts

Am. Wild Horse Campaign v. U.S. Dep’t of the Interior, No. 2:17-cv-202 (D. Wyo. 2019) (succeeded in challenge to the Bureau of Land Management’s new approach to counting wild horses which was methodologically flawed and inadequately explained)

Front Range Nesting Bald Eagle Studies v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv., 353 F. Supp. 3d 1115 (D. Colo. 2018) (overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s BGEPA permit for a large construction project proximate to an active bald eagle nest, in the first-ever challenge to a permit issued pursuant to the Service’s 2016 BGEPA regulations)

W. Watersheds Project v. Christiansen, 348 F. Supp. 2d 1204 (D. Wyo. 2018) (invalidated the Forest Service’s approval of an elk feeding program in the Bridger-Teton National Forest that facilitated the spread of lethal diseases in the Jackson elk herd)

Kathrens v. Zinke, No. 3:18-cv-1691 (D. Or. 2018) (defeated the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse sterilization experiments that failed to comply to the First Amendment, NEPA, and the APA)

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Vilsack, 276 F. Supp. 3d 1015 (D. Nev. 2017) (set precedent applying Section 7(a)(1) of the ESA to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s insect biocontrol program that led to catastrophic habitat destruction for the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher)

Am. Wild Horse Pres. Campaign v. Zinke, 2017 WL 4349012 (D. Idaho 2017) (vacated the Bureau of Land Management’s Jarbidge Resource Management Plan and the agency’s decision to sterilize an entire wild horse herd in Idaho)

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Jewell, 248 F. Supp. 3d 946 (D. Ariz. 2017) (rescinded the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s interpretation of “significant portion of its range” in the ESA and the agency’s decision not to list the pygmy owl in reliance on this flawed interpretation)

Shearwater v. Ashe, 2015 WL 4747881 (N.D. Cal. 2015) (invalidated a nationwide regulation promulgated by the U.S. Fish an Wildlife Service that sought to exclude public input and appropriate NEPA review in issuing permits that would harm bald and golden eagles)

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Jewell, Civ. 2014 WL 12617468 (M.D. Fla. 2014) (reversed the National Park Service’s failure to conduct environmental review under NEPA and the ESA before opening off-road vehicle trails in Big Cypress National Preserve)

Am. Wild Horse Pres.. Campaign v. Salazar, 859 F. Supp. 2d 33 (D.D.C. 2012) (required the Bureau of Land Management to consider and address scientific expert concerns with the castration of wild free-roaming horses)

Defenders of Wildlife v. Salazar, 877 F. Supp. 2d 1271 (M.D. Fla. 2012) (forced the National Park Service to conduct environmental review under NEPA and the ESA before opening off-road vehicle trails in sensitive areas of Big Cypress National Preserve)

Am. Wild Horse Pres. Campaign v. Ken Salazar, 800 F. Supp. 2d 270 (D.D.C. 2011) (defeated the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to castrate a large number of wild free-roaming horses without analyzing the significant impacts of this precedential action)

Animal Welfare Inst. v. BP America, Inc., Civ. No. 10-1866 (E.D. La. 2010) (required BP and the Coast Guard to significantly alter their in-situ burn practices in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to avoid killing endangered sea turtles)

Showing Animals Respect & Kindness v. Dep’t of the Interior, 730 F. Supp. 2d 180 (D.D.C. 2010) (forced the Interior Department to disclose previously withheld records under FOIA concerning the killing of a black bear by a celebrity and his subsequent prosecution)

Animal Welfare Inst. v. Beech Ridge Energy, 675 F. Supp. 2d 540 (D. Md. 2009) (obtained precedent on an issue of first impression concerning the application Section 9 of the ESA to a wind energy project that would foreseeably kill endangered Indiana bats)

Cary v. Salazar, 626 F. Supp. 2d 102 (D.D.C. 2009) (invalidated regulation issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that allowed the killing of captive-bred endangered African antelopes)

Sierra Club v. Department of Agriculture, Civ. No. 08-4248 (N.D. Cal. 2009) (forced the U.S. Department of Agriculture to disclose previously withheld records under FOIA concerning federal funding for coal-fired power plants)

Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. Salazar, Civ. No. 08-4595 (N.D. Cal. 2008) (required the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue a new proposed rule designating critical habitat for the California tiger salamander's Sonoma County population)