Oil and Gas Drilling: Badger-Two Medicine

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Oil and Gas Drilling: Badger-Two Medicine
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The Badger-Two Medicine is too wild to drill

TWTDOil and gas interests want to drill in a special area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest called Badger-Two Medicine. This stretch of Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front is considered sacred by the Blackfeet Nation.

The Badger-Two Medicine also provides needed wildlife migration paths for bears, wolverines and other mammals that use lands in both Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. It is the headwaters of two major waterways that feed the Blackfeet Reservation and the entire northern plains of Montana.

We’re working in partnership with the Blackfeet Tribe to defend the Badger-Two Medicine in the face of attempts to hand the landscape over to the oil and gas industry after decades of legal fights.

Why this place matters

The Blackfeet Nation know the Badger-Two Medicine as a holy place: an area for prayer, fasting and vision questing. Largely roadless, the grasslands, forests and rugged terrain of the Badger-Two Medicine provide secure habitat for wildlife like grizzly bears, elk and wolverines.

Culturally important to the Blackfeet people
The Badger-Two Medicine is part of a nationally designated “Traditional Cultural District.”
Native Tribes oppose drilling
19 tribes asked the U.S. government to cancel oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine.
Important wildlife habitat
The Badger-Two Medicine supports populations of grizzly bears, elk, mule deers, mountain goats and more.

The threat

For decades, Montana’s Badger-Two Medicine area has been targeted for drilling in violation of bedrock environmental laws and without consideration for the Blackfeet Nation, which considers the land sacred.

The government originally issued oil and gas leases here in the 1980s, skipping both mandatory consultation with the Blackfeet people and studies of how drilling would affect the environment. Ever since, Native American tribes and conservationists have been battling against energy interests in the courts and the halls of Congress to keep them from destroying this wild, sacred landscape.

In 2016, the Obama administration helped cancel drilling leases in the Badger-Two Medicine, in recognition that this land is “too wild to drill.” But emboldened by the Trump administration, fossil fuel interests have since tried to open it to development all over again. Our work is far from over.

Now we stand ready to repel efforts to reinstate illegal oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine, which may allow companies to pursue roadbuilding and exploratory drilling in the heart of the landscape.

What we're doing

  1. Working with tribes

    We have worked closely with the Blackfeet Tribe and other communities near the Badger-Two Medicine to elevate their voices and build support for efforts to keep drilling out of this sacred and wild landscape.

  2. Keeping oil and gas leases at bay

    We’re working to defend in court the cancellation of oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine and prevent efforts to reinstate them.

  3. Defending key laws

    We work to defend the Antiquities Act, a law that could potentially be used to protect the Badger-Two Medicine as a national monument.

What you can do
Spread the word that the Badger-Two Medicine is "Too Wild to Drill."
Take action