Tag Archives: Badger-Two Medicine region

Lawsuit challenges cancellation of Badger-Two Medicine oil and gas lease

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

“It ain’t over till it’s over.” . . .

A prominent Texas oilman has filed a lawsuit against the federal government alleging it illegally canceled his oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine region near Glacier National Park and is seeking to reinstate his right to extract mineral resources in an area considered culturally sacred by the Blackfeet Tribe.

The lawsuit, filed April 3 in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, names as plaintiff the billionaire oilman W.A. Moncrief Jr., president of one of the nation’s largest family-owned oil and gas businesses. It names as defendants the U.S. Department of the Interior and Jamie Connell, state director of the Montana-Dakotas Office of the Bureau of Land Management.

The legal dispute comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s historic decision in January to cancel the final two remaining leases on the Badger-Two Medicine, marking a hard-fought victory for members of the Blackfeet Nation who have worked to jettison a host of energy leases from their sacred homeland for three decades.

Read more . . .

Interior Department cancels remaining oil and gas leases in Badger-Two Medicine

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

Here’s a bit more information on last Tuesday’s announcement of the cancellation of the last two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the Bureau of Land Management has canceled the final two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area within the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Northwest Montana.

The two lease cancellations address outstanding concerns about the potential for oil and gas development in this culturally and ecologically important area. The cancellations come on the heels of U.S. officials cancelling other 15 oil and gas leases in the area.

“We are proud to have worked alongside the Blackfeet Nation and the U.S. Forest Service throughout this process to roll back decades-old leases and reinforce the importance of developing resources in the right way and the right places.” said Secretary Sally Jewell. “The cancellation of the final two leases in the rich cultural and natural Badger-Two Medicine Area will ensure it is protected for future generations.”

Read more . . .

Further reading: The official BLM press release

US cancels last two oil and gas leases in Badger-Two Medicine area

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

With 12 days left in the Obama administration, the Interior Department cancelled the remaining two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the Bureau of Land Management has canceled the final two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area within the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Northwest Montana.

The two lease cancellations address outstanding concerns about the potential for oil and gas development in this culturally and ecologically important area. The cancellations come on the heels of U.S. officials cancelling another 15 oil and gas leases in the area.

“We are proud to have worked alongside the Blackfeet Nation and the U.S. Forest Service throughout this process to roll back decades-old leases and reinforce the importance of developing resources in the right way and the right places.” said Secretary Sally Jewell. “The cancellation of the final two leases in the rich cultural and natural Badger-Two Medicine Area will ensure it is protected for future generations.”

Read more . . .

Devon Energy relinquishes its oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine

Two Medicine Lake
Two Medicine Lake – Flikr User Phil’s Pixels

Devon Energy relinquished its 15 oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region. All that’s left now is the ongoing battle with Solonex over their two leases . . .

U.S. officials cancelled 15 oil and gas leases on Wednesday in an area bordering Glacier National Park that’s considered sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada.

The cancellation was aimed at preserving the Badger-Two Medicine area, a largely-undeveloped, 130,000-acre wilderness that is the site of the creation story for members of Montana’s Blackfeet Nation and the Blackfoot tribes of Canada.

“It should not have been leased to begin with,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in announcing the cancellations at her agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. “This sets the right tone for how business should be done in the future.”

Read more . . .

Tribal leader’s push to protect Badger-Two Medicine paying off

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

Looks like more lease cancellations in the Badger-two Medicine region are likely . . .

Blackfeet tribal leaders, conservationists and cultural preservationists have made numerous pilgrimages to Washington, D.C. this year in hopes of furnishing permanent protections on the wild and sacred Badger-Two Medicine region, which for more than three decades has been threatened with industrialization.

This week, their efforts are expected to pay off.

Chief Earl Old Person and the Blackfeet Nation’s elected leadership arrived in the capital this week to underscore their long-standing request that federal land managers cancel a suite of remaining undeveloped oil and gas leases on the 130,000-acre Badger-Two Medicine, which lies on the Rocky Mountain Front, bounded on the north by Glacier National Park and the east by the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Read more . . .

Documentary about Badger-Two Medicine coming to Kalispell, Oct 20

From an MWA announcement released this morning . . .

Our Last Refuge documentary
Our Last Refuge documentary

Don’t miss the Kalispell screening of “Our Last Refuge,”a documentary film about the sacred Badger-Two Medicine area and the decades-long struggle to protect it from oil and gas development.

The film features voices from all sides of the struggle — Blackfeet elders, local conservationists, and even the law firm pushing for oil exploration. All together, they chronicle the epic saga of this unique landscape and the current legal challenge over it, the outcome of which could determine the fate of sensitive and sacred lands nationwide.

“Our Last Refuge” is the first in-depth telling of this critical story at a moment in time when the stakes are at their highest.

Thursday, October 20, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Flathead Valley Community College
Large Community Room, Arts & Technology Building, Room 139
777 Grandview Drive, Kalispell, MT 59901

For more information, contact Casey Perkins, MWA Rocky Mountain Front field director, at (406) 466-2600 or at cperkins@wildmontana.org.

The “Our Last Refuge” trailer can be viewed on Vineo: https://vimeo.com/183899314


Note: There is also a free panel discussion in Missoula on Tuesday, October 18, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. featuring Blackfeet Tribal members speaking about the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Rocky Mountain Front and the efforts of the Blackfeet and others to protect this sacred and wild area from oil and gas development.

Hosted by the UM Native American Studies program, the event will feature scenes from the “Our Last Refuge” documentary about the Badger and the fight save it.

The event will be held at
University of Montana – The Payne Family Native American Center – Rm. 105
32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT 59812

Judge asked to restore cancelled energy lease in Badger-Two Medicine

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

Solonex makes the next move in its court fight over cancelled oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .

A Louisiana energy company is asking a federal judge to reverse the cancellation of a 33-year-old oil and gas lease on land considered sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada.

Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge filed court papers Monday seeking a judgment in the case that’s before U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C.

The 6,200-acre lease is in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest. It’s just outside Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Read more . . .

Blackfeet Tribe asks to join Badger-Two Medicine suit

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

The Blackfeet are keeping up the pressure in the fight over drilling leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region . . .

While a decades-long legal struggle over energy exploration in the Badger-Two Medicine revolves around its sacred nature to the Blackfeet Indians, it wasn’t until this week that the tribe officially asked to join the fight.

Blackfeet tribal leaders joined several conservation groups in requesting intervener status in the case between Solenex LLC and the U.S. Department of the Interior before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C. Two months ago, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell accepted a recommendation from the U.S. Forest Service to cancel Solenex’s drilling leases on 6,200 acres of public land just south of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Solenex asked Leon to overrule the decision and reinstate the leases.

“Those representing traditional Blackfeet culture did not have a seat at the table 30 years ago when the federal government leased our sacred lands for a dollar an acre,” said John Murray of the Pikuni Traditionalist Association. “This intervention is important to ensure that those representing traditional Blackfeet culture have a seat at the table now as the court considers the validity of the government’s effort to correct that 30-year-old mistake.”

Read more . . .

Badger-Two Medicine oil & gas lease cancellation challenged in federal court

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

As expected, Solonex has challenged the cancellation of their oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine. The paperwork was filed last Friday . . .

A Louisiana company challenged the cancellation of an oil and gas lease in northwest Montana on Friday, after federal officials said drilling would disturb an area sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada.

The 6,200-acre lease owned by Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge is in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest. It’s just outside Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Attorneys for the company want U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington, D.C., to reject the Interior Department’s March 17 cancellation of the lease.

Read more . . .

Project could return bison to Glacier Park, Badger-Two Medicine

Bison grazing
Bison grazing

From this week’s Hungry Horse News . . .

Back in 1872 a Salish and Kootenai Warrior named Running Coyote was on the outs with the tribe. He had a wife on one side of the divide and a Blackfeet wife on the other side of the divide.

In an attempt to make amends, Running Coyote along with Blackfeet Warriors Greengrass Bull, Boy Chief and Calf Tail captured several buffalo calves near Buffalo Lake on Blackfeet lands and took them over the Continental Divide to the Salish and Kootenai as a gift.

It didn’t work out for Running Coyote, he still wasn’t forgiven. But the buffalo remained and two other men, Michel Pablo and James Allard took possession of the herd. About 26 years later, the reservation was opened up to homesteading and the free-ranging herd of about 300 animals had to go.

Read more . . .