Here’s an important message from our friends at the Montana Wilderness Association for anyone concerned about the potential for drilling activities in the Badger-Two Medicine region. Note that Debo Powers (firstname.lastname@example.org) is organizing a car pool to attend the meeting in Choteau . . .
On September 2, 2015, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) travels to Choteau, Montana to hear from the public about proposed oil and gas development in the Badger-Two Medicine. ACHP is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation’s historic resources. In this case, the council will advise the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) whether the negative impacts of proposed drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine can be mitigated to avoid damaging the Badger’s sacred, cultural, and historical values.
We have a very simple message for the ACHP: any development in the Badger-Two Medicine will bring irreparable damage. The only recommendation the ACHP can make for preventing damage and desecration to this sacred area is this: Cancel the illegal leases.
We need your help to make this message loud and clear to the ACHP.
The USFS must consider ACHP’s recommendation in making its final determination about oil and gas drilling in the Badger. If the ACHP tells the USFS that the agency should carefully consider lease cancellation because the impacts cannot be mitigated, it strongly bolsters the case we have been making – that lease cancellation is the only good option for the Badger. But if ACHP proposes that the development can somehow be mitigated to decrease damage to the cultural property, it leaves the door open for drilling across the Badger. Encouragingly, the USFS last week recognized, in its response to a U.S. District court order, that cancellation is an option the agency could pursue.
The ACHP needs to hear from all Montanans about why the Badger-Two Medicine is an invaluable piece of Blackfeet, Montana, and American history.
We’re asking people to attend the meeting in Choteau on Wednesday, September 2 or else submit a written comment to ACHP, or both.
The meeting takes place in Choteau on September 2 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Stage Stop Inn, 1005 Main Ave. North.
ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO CARPOOL FROM THE NORTH FORK TO CHOTEAU ON SEPTEMBER 2 TO ATTEND THIS MEETING, PLEASE CONTACT DEBO AT email@example.com
If you would like to speak at the meeting, you can pre-register to do so by contacting Katry Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. People who have not pre-registered will be allowed to speak if time permits.
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
401 F Street, NW, Suite 308,
Washington, D.C. 20001-2637
All comments must be submitted by 3 p.m. (MST), September 4, 2015.
Here are some comment suggestions:
The Badger-Two Medicine area holds significant cultural and historical importance to the Blackfeet people, to the people of Montana, and to all citizens. Sacred lands should be protected from industrialization for posterity. What does the Badger mean to you and your family?
The Badger-Two Medicine is a living cultural landscape and an intact ecosystem. Its cultural value cannot be separated from its ecological integrity.
The ACHP should avoid making recommendations that suggest that the negative impacts of oil and gas exploration can be mitigated or avoided, because that is not possible.
The only option to avoid permanent damage to the Badger-Two Medicine is to not drill and to encourage the federal land managers to work together to cancel all of the remaining leases.
– Casey Perkins, MWA’s Rocky Mountain Front field director
At our August Board meeting I said I would keep the membership informed about the current status and events of the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act as they unfold, and the issues facing the Badger-Two Medicine Roadless Area.
At my request, I asked Bill Walker to post the most current news reports from the Great Falls Tribune, Missoulian, Daily Interlake and the Hungry Horse News. Thanks, Bill. It’s my hope that NFPA members read these articles and become engaged.
The Hungry Horse News, in its Oct. 9, 2013 issue, has a very good article written by Chris Peterson on the pending legal battle over an oil and gas lease within the Badger-Two Medicine. (Bill posted this on the website.)
Various groups are intervening on behalf of the Lewis & Clark NF to help protect the Badger-Two Medicine, which is on the northern portion of the Rocky Mountain Front just south of Glacier NP. The article briefly explains the history of the area and its importance as a vital linkage between Glacier and the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex. One hundred thirty thousand acres of inventoried roadless land is nothing to ignore. A person can travel through the Badger-Two Medicine and the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex approximately 140 miles without crossing a single road. The Badger-Two Medicine was included in the 1980s statewide wilderness bill, but vetoed by then President Ronald Reagan at the request of Senator Conrad Burns (R-Montana).
Many of the folks that have requested intervener status have helped out in our North Fork efforts, and I feel it’s time for us to help out our neighbors. Letters need to be written to the delegation (see contact info below) with copies sent to the Lewis and Clark National Forest in support of protecting the Badger-Two Medicine, and the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act as a whole.
As I stated before, things are unfolding fast and this will probably be one of the largest and most important conservation issues facing the Crown of the Continent. And, as a side note – One of the oil and gas companies that is holding out on a buyout just happens to be holding out its lease in the North Fork as well.
The Badger Two Medicine and the North Fork of the Flathead have more in common than you might think. Both adjoin Glacier NP and both are vital wildlife areas connecting linkages east & west, and north & south. Protecting the Badger-Two Medicine is good for the North Fork.
Our friends on the other side of the Divide are not happy about an oil exploration threat to the the Badger-Two Medicine area . . .
Several environmental groups have petitioned to intervene in a legal battle over a disputed oil and gas claim in the Badger-Two Medicine area about two miles southeast of Glacier National Park.
Solonex, a Louisiana-based oil and gas company sued the Forest Service and the Department of Interior claiming it has been illegally prevented from exploring about 6,200 acres of land it leases for oil and gas. Solonex obtained the leases in 1982, but over the years the government continually delayed exploration.In 1998, the government suspended exploration activities there indefinitely. Solonex, which is owned by Sidney Longwell, claims this is a violation of federal law. Congress can allow delays but can’t suspend activities on leased lands indefinitely, Solonex claims.
Late last month, the Blackfeet Headwaters Alliance, based in Browning, and the Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, headquartered in East Glacier, applied for intervenor status in the lawsuit. The National Parks Conservation Association, Montana Wilderness Association and the Wilderness Society also filed for intervenor status.