Press Release Sep 21, 2015

Badger-Two Medicine Area Too Special to Drill: National Parks Group Agrees with Federal Historic Preservation Panel

Statement by Michael Jamison, Glacier Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association

Background: Today, the Advisory Committee on the Historic Preservation (ACHP) recommended that drilling leases should be cancelled and that future mineral development does not occur within the US Forest Service managed Badger-Two Medicine area. ACHP noted that drilling would irrevocably harm the 165,588-acre area (encompassing lands within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Lewis and Clark National Forest, and Flathead National Forest) which is a designated Traditional Cultural District under the National Historic Preservation Act.

The recommendation was submitted to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell regarding the Application to Drill held by Solenex, LLC in the Badger–Two Medicine.

As directed by National Historic Preservation Act, the ACHP serves as the primary federal policy advisor to the President and Congress; recommends administrative and legislative improvements for protecting our nation’s heritage; advocates full consideration of historic values in federal decision-making; and reviews federal programs and policies to promote effectiveness, coordination, and consistency with national preservation policies.

Statement by Michael Jamison, Glacier Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association

“Today, a message was heard loud and clear, from Montana to Washington, DC: some places are too wild to drill.”

“Given the proximity of the Badger-Two Medicine to Glacier National Park and the cultural significance of the area to the Blackfeet Nation, this decision was an obvious choice. The National Parks Conservation Association is encouraged and believes it is now time for the Departments of Interior and Agriculture to move forward with cancelling these leases, which were sold for $1 per acre in the 1980’s.“

“We echo the comments made by former Glacier National Park Superintendents, noting the cultural connections between the national park and this sacred landscape. In their letter to the ACHP, six former Glacier National Park Superintendents stated: ‘Since 1982, land managers have retired most oil/gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine; supported passage of the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act; completed the Montana Legacy Project; passed the North Fork Watershed Protection Act…and a host of historic international conservation agreements. Amid these victories remains one stubborn outlier: the anomaly of the 1982 oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine’”.

“As part of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem, the Badger-Two Medicine, east of Glacier National Park is vital to the integrity of the park and the Blackfeet Nation. Protecting the Badger-Two Medicine is a worthy gift that the Departments of Agriculture and Interior can give to the region, to the Blackfeet Nation, and to all who find inspiration, recreation, and solitude in this irreplaceable landscape.”

###

About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.