Last Friday, conservation groups, leaders of the Blackfeet Nation, and the federal government reached an agreement with oil and gas company Solenex, LLC to permanently retire the last remaining federal oil and gas lease within the Badger-Two Medicine.
The Badger-Two Medicine is an area in northwestern Montana nestled between Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area, and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The area consists of about 130,000 acres, and is considered sacred by the Blackfeet Nation due to its cultural and historical significance to the Blackfeet people. The Badger-Two Medicine also serves as a migration corridor for elk, wolverines, grizzly bears, and westslope cutthroat trout.
The agreement follows a years-long legal battle to protect the 6,000 acres leased by Solenex from development, and a 40-year effort by Tribal leaders and conservationists to prevent oil and gas drilling along the Rocky Mountain Front. In the early 1980s, the Reagan administration leased 147,000 acres along the Rocky Mountain Front to oil and gas companies. The 6,000-acre lease held by Solenex was the last remaining lease of 47 original oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine. Now, all leases in the Badger-Two Medicine have been permanently eliminated without any development having occurred.
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Quote of the day
I am happy to see this oil and gas lease go away in the Badger-Two Medicine. We are back to where we were 40 years ago.”
—John Murray, Blackfeet Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Associated Press
For many people, seeing wildlife on our public lands is thrilling! But for wildlife, seeing us in their homes where they eat, sleep and breed may not be such a thrill. Let’s celebrate National Wildlife Day with space and respect for these amazing creatures!
Photo at @isleroyalenps by Carl TerHaar
Alt Text: A photographer using a zoom catches two young bull moose testing each other out in a shallow lake on a very foggy morning.