More tribal pressure to terminate oil leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region. . .
The chief of the Blackfeet Nation has asked President Barack Obama to cancel oil leases in the culturally and environmentally significant Badger-Two Medicine area east of the divide.
Chief Earl Old Person, a member of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council since 1954, sent a letter to Obama last month asking him to help protect the mountainous area between the Blackfeet Reservation, Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. He also invited the president to Blackfeet Country to see the area for himself.
The Badger-Two Medicine is an important area in the Blackfeet creation story and is known as the “Backbone of the World.” In 1982, the U.S. government leased land within the Badger-Two Medicine to oil companies and of the 47 land leases originally issued, 18 remain. For years, tribal officials have tried to terminate the leases but in 2013 the final leaseholder, Sidney Longwell of Solenext, LLC, filed a lawsuit so it could begin drilling for oil. No ruling has been made in the case.