Montana BHA Applauds Agreement to Retire Final Remaining Lease in the Badger-Two Medicine

Late last week, news broke that the final remaining oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine was to be permanently retired!

This area, US Forest Service lands adjacent to the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Glacier National Park, and the Blackfeet Reservation, is home to some of the wildest country in Montana and provides valuable habitat for game species such as mule deer, elk, black bears, Westslope cutthroats, and more. It's also held sacred by the Blackfeet and is the place of many of their origin stories.

Montana BHA applauds this news and thanks all who were involved to get us here.

This represents the final chapter in what has been a roller coaster of on-again, off-again court rulings. For reference, this lease was cancelled by Interior Secretary Jewell in 2016 but was then challenged in District Court (with Louisiana-based Solenex, the lease holder, being represented by forming acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley (then the Director of Mountain States Legal Foundation)).

In 2018, the judge ruled in favor of Solenex, but in June of 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals decision once again canceled the only remaining lease in what was a victory for the Blackfeet Nation as well as all who appreciate wild country.⁣⁣

But Solenex wasn't done yet. The leaseholder filed in December of 2020 to again reinstate the lease; and they won. This sparked another round of appeals...

So, fast forward to last week, and the agreement with the leaseholder brokered by Blackfeet Nation, the federal government and conservation orgs such as Wild Montana and Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance signals an end to this decades-long saga to protect this special piece of wild backcountry. And it's worth celebrating!



📸: Montana BHA life member and BHA corporate partner Tony Bynum

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