Tester hails Badger-Two Medicine decision

Interior Department announces the cancellation of oil and gas lease in pristine outdoor area adjacent to Glacier Park

(U.S. Senate)-Senator Jon Tester released the following statement after the Interior Department announced the cancellation of a controversial oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine:

“The Badger-Two Medicine has unique cultural, historical, spiritual, and recreational significance to the Blackfeet Nation and outdoor enthusiasts in Montana. For generations Blackfeet families and outdoorsmen have enjoyed this treasured place and today’s decision will help ensure that this area remains pristine for years to come. There are special places in this world where we just shouldn’t drill, and the Badger-Two Medicine is one of them.”

The Badger-Two Medicine area is located at the intersection of the Blackfeet Reservation, Glacier National Park, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

In 1982, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service granted 47 leases. Two years later, a drilling permit was approved on one of the leases, though drilling was stalled when a moratorium was placed on oil and gas drilling in the area.

Nearly two-thirds of the original leaseholders voluntarily relinquished their leases.

Tester is the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to support cancelling the leases. He has long supported protecting the area, and last March he formally called on the Interior Department to cancel the remaining leases in the Badger Two Medicine, citing its importance to the Blackfeet Tribe and Montana’s sportsmen and women.