After 30 years of arguing, last oil & gas leases in Montana canceledStaff Writer | January 11, 2017
The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the Bureau of Land Management has canceled the final two oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area within the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Northwest Montana.
Oil and gas exploration Badger-Two Medicine
The BLM notified J.G. Kluthe Trust of Nebraska and W.A. Moncrief Jr. of Texas of the cancellations of the final two leases in the area.
The lease cancellations occur after thirty years of administrative, legal and legislative actions and reflect the historical and cultural significance of the area to the Blackfeet Tribe and concerns regarding leasing issuance.
The Badger-Two Medicine is a 130,000 acre area, bounded by Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
This portion of the Rocky Mountain Front is considered sacred by the Blackfeet Tribe, and is part of a Traditional Cultural District. These characteristics caused Congress to legislatively withdraw the area from mineral development in 2006.
The leases being canceled today were issued in the 1980s and have not had any drilling in the area since issuance.
The cancellation respects recommendations by the U.S. Forest Service, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and concerns expressed by the Blackfeet Tribe and interested members of the public.
In 2016, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the cancellation of 16 leases in the area. The leases were held by Solonex LLC and Devon Energy. ■