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Blackfeet Tribe Withdraws From Two Medicine Drilling Talks

Lower Two Medicine Lake and Sinopah Mountain at sunset.
flickr user Ryan McKee (CC-BY-ND-2.0)
Lower Two Medicine Lake and Sinopah Mountain at sunset.

The Blackfeet Tribe has withdrawn from talks with the U.S. Government over natural gas drilling leases on land considered sacred by the Blackfeet people.

Louisiana company Solenex holds drilling leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.

The Blackfeet say the land is the place of their creation stories and should never be disrupted.

Dave Cunningham of the Lewis and Clark National Forest says there have been three consultation meetings to find a project that would honor the leases without harming the land’s spiritual importance.

"We were looking for an option through consultation to come up with a project proposal that would work for all the parties that would not have adverse effects," said Cunningham.

The Blackfeet have made it clear the only outcome they will accept is one without drilling.

The law firm representing Solenex says their client has a property right to the land and it’s not something the tribe can stop.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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