In the heart of the Crown of the Continent, the Badger-Two Medicine (B2M) on Montana's Rocky Mountain Front, is a 130,000-acre area bounded on the north by Glacier National Park and on the east by the Blackfeet Reservation. The Great Bear and Bob Marshall Wilderness areas lie to the west and south. The B2M is a Traditional Cultural District (TCD) under the National Historic Preservation Act because of its religious and cultural significance to the Blackfeet Nation.
For over 30 years, citizens, energy companies and the federal government were battling over oil and gas leases in the area. In the 1980s two large energy companies acquired oil and gas leases on almost two-thirds of the B2M area. The BLM finally canceled the controversial Solenex oil & gas lease in the Badger-Two. EcoFlight has worked with the tribes, TWS, NPCA, MWA and film makers to elevate the issue and garner national attention. The fate of 15 of the remaining 17 leases on 42,000 acres of the Badger was resolved in November 2016, cancelled by Sec. Sally Jewell, and the final 2 leases were cancelled in early January 2017.
In 2006, Senator Max Baucus passed legislation with bipartisan support to prohibit future federal energy leasing along the Rocky Mountain Front as well as providing tax incentives for lease holders to sell or donate their Front leases. The law also prohibits re-leasing of an existing lease that expires or is retired. Since the lease withdrawal legislation became law approximately 110,800 acres (much of it in the B2M) of what was more than 152,000 acres leased by the federal government for energy development along Montana's Front have been permanently retired.
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