Montana Public Radio

Badger-Two Medicine

The Supreme Court recently decided McGirt v. Oklahoma, a case many are calling one of the most important decisions for Native Americans in US History. The ruling signifies a shift in how the federal legal system recognizes tribal nations at a time when tribes are pushing for similar consideration in Montana courts.

On July 9, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in a decision that effectively determined the majority of eastern Oklahoma is rightfully Indian Country.

Veterans suffering from three health conditions related to Agent Orange exposure are closer to receiving expanded benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Blackfeet Nation released draft legislation Thursday that would permanently protect the Badger-Two Medicine region bordering Glacier National Park from industrial resource development. Montana’s congressional delegation says they are reviewing the draft language of the proposed bill.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. ruled Tuesday that a lower court was wrong to reinstate a contentious oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area near the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Glacier National Park. 

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

A lengthy legal fight over an oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area near Glacier National Park continued Tuesday in federal court. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. heard arguments over the U.S. Interior Secretary’s authority to cancel the lease. 

Former U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in 2016 canceled the last two remaining oil and gas leases in the disputed area near the Rocky Mountain Front. Moncrief Oil and Solenex LLC took the Interior Department to court arguing that the agency couldn’t suddenly change its mind.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Wilderness advocates and a Texas oil company agreed Tuesday to end an oil and gas lease on land considered sacred to the Blackfeet Nation. The settlement permanently removes all but one of the development leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area.

Map of Solenex Lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

A newly appointed Bureau of Land Management official needs to recuse himself from decisions related to the Badger-Two Medicine area because he has a conflict of interest. That's according to according to the environmental group Earthjustice.

Two Medicine River, in the Badger-Two Medicine area.
Courtesy Gene Sentz

The Blackfeet Nation says it will ask a federal court on Monday to continue a fight to protect the Badger-Two Medicine area, after the US Interior Department reversed course on oil leases there.

"That was a surprise, we were totally caught off guard," says Tyson Runningwolf, a Democratic representative from Browning, and a member of the tribe.

"There’s one thing that unifies the tribe always and that’s protecting the Badger-Two Medicine at all costs, whatever it takes to be involved in protecting it from oil and gas development and protecting that sacred area," he says.

Solenex well site is the last remaining oil lease in Badger-Two-Medicine.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

The Trump administration filed in federal appeals court Tuesday to block oil and gas drilling near Glacier National Park on land considered sacred to the Blackfeet Nation.

The U.S. Department of Interior led by Secretary Ryan Zinke is contesting an energy development lease just south of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. It and others in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest were voided in the final days of the Obama administration, but reinstated by a federal judge this September.

Map of Solenex lease site in the Badger-Two Medicine near Glacier National Park
Courtesy Montana Wilderness Association

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Associated Press today that the federal government plans to appeal a federal court ruling allowing oil and gas drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine area outside Glacier National Park.

The Badger-Two Medicine is the site of the creation story for the Blackfoot Tribes, and is located on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, adjacent to the Blackfeet Reservation.

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