Badger-Two Medicine Reinstated Drilling Lease
Issues: Oil and Gas, Wild Lands
Partners: Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, National Parks Conservation Association
Airport Origin : Browning, MT
Flying with USGS staff, conservationists, and members of the media, our overflight examined the Badger-Two Medicine area and the newly reinstated drilling lease - the last oil and gas lease in this precious landscape.
We flew over the Badger-Two Medicine area, Blackfeet Nation land in the heart of the Crown of the Continent. Bounded by Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Reservation, with wilderness to the west and south, it is the connective habitat between Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Blackfeet Reservation. The Badger is also the headwaters of two drainages, Badger Creek and the South Fork Two Medicine River. And is home range and a crucial habitat link for grizzly bears, wolverines, and westslope cutthroat trout. These two drainages water the Reservation and the northern plains of Montana.
The sacred Badger-Two Medicine area encompasses 130,000 acres and was leased for oil and gas in the 1980s, but after pushback from our partners like the Blackfeet Nation, Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, The Wilderness Society, Montana Wildlife Federation, National Parks Conservation Alliance and many other dedicated groups, all of the leases except one have been canceled or voluntarily retired by lease-holders who recognized the total lack of Tribal consultation.
On September 9th, 2022, a federal judge reinstated the last remaining drilling lease in the Badger-Two Medicine - a lease that was canceled in 2016, and again deemed unlawful in a 2020 court case. Despite the two previous rulings, the judge stated the 6,200 acre parcel of National Forest land, just south of Glacier National Park could be drilled.
EcoFlight will continue to fly and work with our partners to preserve the spectacular and culturally and ecologically significant Badger-Two Medicine area.