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Badger-Two Medicine Makes "Too Wild" List

Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park is one of the featured locales in the 2015 Too Wild to Drill report from The Wilderness Society. Credit: U.S. Department of Interior.

Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park is one of the featured locales in the 2015 Too Wild to Drill report from The Wilderness Society. Credit: U.S. Department of Interior.
August 13, 2015

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Oil and gas leases from decades past are tied to the history and future of Montana's Badger-Two Medicine region, which is adjacent to Glacier National Park.

The history of the region and pending oil and gas projects are showcased in a new report from The Wilderness Society called Too Wild to Drill, which details risks to cultural history and wildlife if the development takes place.

Blackfeet tribal member Leanne Falcon lives near the Badger-Two Medicine. She calls the conservation of the area key to cultural survival.

"We need to protect the homeland as the Blackfeet and concerned locals have done for the past three decades, so that our children may have the same spiritual and family experiences as our elders and ancestors," she states.

The Blackfeet tribe has offered other drilling sites on the reservation as an alternative, or leases could be voluntarily retired.

A company based in Louisiana (Solenex) has filed a lawsuit demanding the right to drill.

The report calls on the Interior Department to cancel the leases if they aren't retired or traded, making the case the leases were granted without adequate review and tribal consultation.

Bob Ekey, senior director for The Wilderness Society's energy campaign in Bozeman, says the report also features success stories – and there are two big ones in Montana.

The Rocky Mountain Front and North Fork of the Flathead were listed in previous Too Wild to Drill reports, and both now are protected from industrial development.

"It's important for people to realize that if they step up and advocate for the places they love, you can make a difference," Ekey says.

The report also features locales in Colorado, Utah and Alaska where energy projects are planned.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MT