Thanks to negotiations between energy companies and the federal government, a remote region known as the Badger-Two Medicine will remain off-limits to oil and gas development.
Gift for Wild Lands: Interior Retires Remaining Oil and Gas Leases Near Glacier National Park
The U.S. Department of Interior protected Montana’s natural and cultural heritage by negotiating the removal of all remaining oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine roadless area, adjacent to…See more ›
The Badger Two-Medicine area in the northern Rocky Mountains of Montana is named for the two crystal-clear streams that flow from its mountain headwaters. The region borders Glacier National Park and is home to grizzly bears, wolverines, mountain goats, elk, wolves and mountain lions. In 1982, the U.S. government leased nearly the entire area to oilmen for $1 an acre. Since then, many companies have voluntarily retired their leases, saying these places are just too special to drill. A few companies, however, have persisted over the years, attempting to gain access for their drill rigs.
Now, thanks to a series of actions by the Department of the Interior, this region, which is sacred to the Blackfeet Nation, will remain protected from the industrial footprint of oil and gas drilling.
On March 17, 2016, the department cancelled an oil and gas lease covering more than 6,000 acres. Then, on November 16, 2016, the department worked with industry partners to retire an additional 15 leases across more than 32,000 acres, protecting the largest remaining parcel of vulnerable lands left in the Badger-Two Medicine region. Finally, on January 6, 2017, the agency retired the last two remaining leases, eliminating the development threat to the region. Interior’s actions safeguard the ecological and cultural integrity of Glacier National Park, the Blackfeet Nation, and the adjacent Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.
Industrialization of this area would have disrupted crucial wildlife corridor in the celebrated Crown of the Continent and left a scar on the traditional homelands of the Blackfeet Nation. NPCA and our supporters spoke out for years to put an end to these leases, working alongside local and national leaders including former Glacier National Park superintendents, Montana’s senior U.S. senator and governor, the Blackfeet Nation, and many others to protect this sacred land and important wildlife corridor.
With the leases now retired, we will continue to work with these and other partners to secure permanent protections for the Badger-Two Medicine’s world-class natural and cultural heritage.
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