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ACTION TIMELINE

October 19, 2000 – An analysis by the Center found that four Arizona national forests failed to meet mandatory terms meant to protect nine threatened or endangered species from the harm caused by livestock grazing.

October 23, 2000 – The Center filed suit against the U.S. Forest Service for harming two threatened fish species in the Gila River Basin by allowing grazing on critical habitat within five national forests.

April 11, 2001 – The Center won an appeal that struck down a livestock grazing permit in the Coronado National Forest, ensuring protection for several endangered species and 3,900 acres of Rincon Mountain wilderness.

December 22, 2001 – The Center, with our allies, appealed a Forest Service decision to allow renewed cattle grazing on federal lands in the Los Padres National Forest’s Silver Peak and Ventana Wilderness areas along the Big Sur coast.

February 11, 2002 – In a successful conclusion to the Center’s December 2001 appeal, the Forest Service withdrew its decision to expand cattle grazing on public lands in the Los Padres National Forest.

March 6, 2002 – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, as part of the settlement of the Center’s California Desert Conservation Area lawsuit, acted to protect the desert tortoise from livestock grazing by putting seasonal restrictions into effect.

February 26, 2003 – The Center, as part of a coalition of conservation groups, sued the Forest Service for failing to reform livestock grazing fees. The current fee was one-tenth of current market rates and failed to cover basic administrative costs.
 
July 14, 2003 – In response to an impending Center lawsuit, the Los Padres National Forest removed livestock from sensitive lands along the Big Sur coast of California. The Forest Service was facing legal action for its failure to protect the endangered Smith’s blue butterfly and the central California coast steelhead trout from the damaging effects of livestock grazing.

December 22, 2003 – After the Center intervened in a lawsuit against the Forest Service, two ranchers were held in contempt by a federal court for violating a December 1996 order to remove livestock that had been illegally grazing on protected areas throughout New Mexico forests.

January 24, 2005 – A coalition of conservation groups, including the Center, appealed a decision by the Forest Service to expand livestock grazing in endangered species habitat and within designated wilderness areas along the Big Sur Coast in the Los Padres National Forest.

July 22, 2005 – The Center, along with Great Old Broads for Wilderness, filed a federal lawsuit to compel the secretary of the interior to protect Glen Canyon National Recreation Area from damage caused by livestock grazing.

November 9, 2005 – In response to an October report outlining massive budgetary shortfalls of the federal livestock-grazing program, the Center and allies submitted a petition to increase the grazing fee charged to livestock operators on public lands.

November 14, 2005 – The Center, along with other regional conservation groups, appealed a third attempt by the Forest Service to expand livestock grazing in endangered species habitat and within wilderness areas along the Big Sur Coast in the Los Padres National Forest.

August 7, 2006 – After encountering strong opposition from the Center and other conservation groups, the Forest Service decided to halt domestic sheep grazing in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest to protect endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep from disease.

April 18, 2007 – In response to a lawsuit filed by the Center and the Oregon Natural Desert Association, a federal court rejected a Bush-administration plan for reducing protections for threatened steelhead and bull trout from livestock grazing on eastern Oregon’s Malheur National Forest.

June 25, 2007 – The Center and the Western Watersheds Project filed suit against three Department of Agriculture agencies over the illegal grazing of domestic sheep on more than 100,000 acres of public lands in and near the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem of Idaho and Montana.

October 2, 2007 – A judge ruled in favor of the Center and other conservation groups and ordered the Bureau of Land Management to hold off on its decision to increase cattle grazing on 136,167 acres of public land on California’s Ord Mountain allotment, including areas of critical habitat for the desert tortoise.

February 20, 2008 – The Center, along with the Western Watersheds Project, reached an agreement with the Department of Agriculture to resolve a June 2007 lawsuit. The settlement required analysis of the effects of sheep grazing in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem under the National Environmental Policy Act.

March 11, 2008 – The Center and allies filed suit against Oregon’s Fremont-Winema National Forest for allowing continued grazing in the threatened Oregon spotted frog’s habitat, failing to conduct proper environmental impact analyses, and violating the Clean Water Act in allowing grazing on the federal Antelope grazing allotment.

May 14, 2008 – After protests by the Center and Western Watersheds Project, the Bureau of Land Management vacated its grazing decision on two allotment renewals in eastern California due to their implications for the well-being of the endangered Fish Slough milk vetch, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, and Mono Basin sage grouse.

August 5, 2008 – In response to a Center lawsuit, the Fish and Wildlife Service finalized critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. The recovery plan for the bighorn stipulated that long-term survival will require eliminating the risk of disease transmission by removing domestic sheep from critical habitat and adjacent areas.

April 15, 2009 – The Center, along with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, notified the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management of our intent to sue for failing to protect Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep from deadly disease transmission from domestic sheep allotments.   

June 16, 2009 – In response to a Center lawsuit, a federal judge temporarily halted cattle grazing within streams in eastern Oregon’s Malheur National Forest to protect steelhead trout.

June 17, 2009 – The Center filed an administrative appeal that challenged the Forest Service for authorizing livestock grazing on 42,000 acres in the ecologically sensitive Fossil Creek watershed.

September 29, 2009 – A judge ruled in favor of the Center and other conservation groups on the Bureau of Land Management’s failure to look at the impacts of cattle grazing on sensitive desert soils (among other issues) under the West Mojave Desert Management Plan.

January 5, 2010 – In response to an appeal by the Center and allies, the Forest Service withdrew one cattle-grazing decision and reversed a second on appeal because of problems related to grazing in habitat for the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep and the Quino checkerspot butterfly in California’s San Jacinto Mountains.

April 6, 2010 – In response to a lawsuit and comments submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project, the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in eastern Idaho, run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, issued a decision to halt the grazing of sheep on about 7,500 acres of vital grizzly-bear habitat in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

June 10, 2010 –  The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, WildEarth Guardians, Great Old Broads for Wilderness and Oregon Natural Desert Association sued the Interior and Agriculture departments to compel them to respond to the Center’s 2005 rulemaking petition that sought to increase the fee for livestock grazing across 258 million acres of federal public land.

July 15, 2010 – The Center, Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians sent a letter to the Obama administration detailing how the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service can meet the president’s June 8 directive to cut 5 percent from agency budgets: Reform or eliminate the public-lands livestock grazing program.

December 30, 2010 – Following a lawsuit by the Center and allies, a federal judge barred livestock grazing harmful to endangered steelhead trout on more than a quarter-million acres of public land on the Malheur National Forest in eastern Oregon.

January 18, 2011 – In response to appeals filed by the Center, the U.S. Forest Service reversed two decisions that would have allowed livestock grazing across 33,000 acres of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in Arizona.

January 18 2011 – Responding to a lawsuit by the Center and allies, the Obama administration decided not to increase grazing fees on public lands to reflect the true costs of such grazing to taxpayers and the environment.

January 31, 2011 – The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management announced that in 2011 they would not increase the paltry $1.35 monthly fee charged for each cow and calf grazed by the livestock industry on western public land.

February 1, 2012 – The Obama administration on Tuesday announced that it would not increase the $1.35 monthly fee charged for each cow and calf the livestock industry grazes on western public land.

February 1, 2012 – The Forest Service again announced that it would not increase the $1.35 monthly fee charged for each cow and calf the livestock industry grazes on western public land.

December 2012 – A federal judge's order closed out the ruling made on December 30, 2010, ending a decade-long series of cases — filed in 2003 by the Oregon Natural Desert Association, Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project — challenging Forest Service management of public lands along the John Day River in eastern Oregon's Malheur National Forest. The ruling restricted cattle grazing that mpost harmed imperiled steelhead trout in the river.