Tag Archives: Badger-Two Medicine region

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 . . .

Feds cancels energy lease in Badger-Two Medicine!

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

After dragging their feet as long as possible and a frank exchange of views with a federal judge, the feds finally cancelled a disputed drilling lease in the Badger-Two Medicine . . .

The Obama administration has cancelled a disputed oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area near Glacier National Park.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced Thursday the Bureau of Land Management has cancelled the 6,200-acre lease in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. The lease, currently held by Solonex LLC, was issued by the BLM in 1982 on land considered sacred to the Blackfeet tribes of the U.S. and Canada.

The cancellation is expected to be challenged in federal court by Solenex, a Louisiana company seeking to drill for oil and gas.

The BLM concluded the Solonex lease was improperly issued in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historical Preservation Act. The agency consulted with the U.S. Forest Service, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Blackfeet Tribe, leaseholder and others, according to federal officials.

Read more . . .

Dispute over Badger-Two Medicine drilling leases still simmering

Badger-Two Medicine Region

The Hungry Horse News has a nice summary of the battle over drilling leases in the Badger-Two Medicine . . .

The battle over oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine will continue. The Department of Interior and Solonex, the company that owns the leases had asked U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon to suspend the case so the two parties could negotiate a settlement in the 30-plus year battle. But those talks have fallen apart.

Now Solonex, in a brief to the court on Jan. 19, claims that any attempt to cancel the leases by the DOI would be arbitrary and contrary to federal law. Solonex is represented by the Mountain States Legal Foundation, a nonprofit that often takes up private business and citizens issues in land use disputes in federal court.

The DOI in December said it tentatively planned on canceling the leases altogether, claiming the U.S. Forest Service never did a proper examination of the impacts on Blackfeet Tribe cultural resources when it sold the leases in 1981.

Read more . . .

Judge asked to halt cancellation of Badger-Two Medicine drilling lease

Two Medicine Lake

After a brief pause for closed-door negotiations that just happened to fall over the holiday season, the lawsuit over drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine is back in action . . .

A Louisiana company has asked a federal judge to block government plans to cancel a long-stalled federal energy lease on land considered sacred to American Indians.

The Interior Department announced in November that it plans to cancel the 6,200-acre lease near Glacier National Park because it was improperly issued in 1982. It’s owned by Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In a Tuesday court filing, company attorney Steven Lechner said the government arbitrarily reversed course last year after previous determinations that the leases were valid.

Read more . . .

Closed-door discussions fail in lawsuit over Badger-Two Medicine leases

Badger-Two Medicine Region

After several weeks of closed-door discussions aimed at resolving a lawsuit over drilling leases in the Badger-Two medicine region, the Interior Department and Solonex, the Louisiana energy company that brought the lawsuit, notified the court yesterday afternoon that they intend to resume litigation.

This means the government will press ahead with their decision to cancel all energy leases in the Badger-Two Medicine and Solonex will fight the decision.

Expect some sort of fireworks within the next couple of weeks.

Lawsuit over Badger-Two Medicine leases retreats behind closed doors

Badger-Two Medicine Region

Here’s a non-surprise: After the Solonex lawsuit forced the federal government to take an official stance on the issue of energy leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region, attorneys on both sides want to move the discussion behind closed doors for a while . . .

The Interior Department and a Louisiana energy company are asking a federal judge to pause court proceedings in a dispute over a drilling lease near Glacier National Park.

Attorneys for the two sides said in a Wednesday court filing that they want more time to see if they can resolve the case outside of court.

They asked U.S. District Judge Richard Leon to put the case on hold until Jan. 8.

Read more . . .