Published on Mar 17, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2016
Department of the Interior Cancels Oil and Gas Lease Threatening the Badger-Two Medicine
Today, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will cancel an oil and gas lease held by Solonex LLC in the Badger-Two Medicine area. Located in the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana, the Badger-Two Medicine area contains sensitive plant and wildlife, and holds immense cultural and religious significance to the Blackfeet people.
In 1982, absent of tribal consultation and a thorough review of environmental and cultural studies, the U.S Forest Service granted 47 oil and gas permit leases in and around the Badger-Two Medicine area. For over two decades the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana and many non-Native conservation and historical preservation groups have sought the cancellation of these permit leases. While a number of these leases were subsequently cancelled through Congressional action and other measures, the Blackfeet Tribe has sought the cancellation of the remaining leases that would cause irreparable damage to Badger-Two Medicine.
“Today’s cancellation of the lease held by Solonex LLC signifies a major victory in the tribe’s 34 year struggle to protect this sacred place from development that would have caused irreparable damage to the Badger-Two Medicine,” stated NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Pata. NCAI began working with the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana in early 2016, and wrote a letter to Secretary Jewell urging the cancellation of any oil and gas leases threatening the Badger-Two Medicine. NCAI’s mission includes the protection of Native sacred sites and historic places.
About The National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org.