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Pine Creek Lake. Photo by Walker Stole
Nov 02 2015

Love Letters for Badger-Two Medicine

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack jumps on lease cancellation bandwagon

Alerts, Featured

The Blackfeet have written. Senator Jon Tester has written. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, in its letter to the secretaries of Agriculture and Interior, has written. So have former superintendents of Glacier National Park and former Forest Service leaders. Maybe even you have written to support the Blackfeet and the Badger-Two Medicine.

As of today, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, in a letter to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell, has also written: cancel all oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine.

"Based on this information gained through the full consideration of the spiritual and cultural significance of the Badger-Two Medicine Traditional Cultural District [TCD], the Forest Service's determination of adverse affects, ACHP's final comments, changes in land management priorities, and consideration of Solenex LLC's comments, I find that the balance of considerations weigh in favor of not lifting the suspension of operations and production,” Sec. Vilsack writes. “Therefore, I recommend that you take action as you deem consistent with your statutory and regulatory authorities to cancel the Solenex lease."

He continues, "I concur with the ACHP's recommendation of taking 'the steps necessary to terminate the remaining leases in the [Badger-Two Medicine] Traditional Cultural District.'"

So basically, he read all the letters, agreed with them, and wrote his own letter, echoing the idea that the Badger is just too important, in too many ways, to even think about drilling there.

Sometime the next few weeks, Secretary Jewell will make the Interior Department's determination about the fate of the Badger.

In the meantime, feel free to pen your own note to Secretary Jewell asking her to do what is right for the Badger-Two Medicine by cancelling all oil and gas leases there. You can contact her at feedback@ios.doi.gov or at:

Sally Jewell, Secretary
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street N.W.
Washington, DC  20240

And if you haven’t seen this fantastic multi-media feature by our friends at Earthjustice, we suggest you check it out.

- Casey Perkins, MWA Rocky Mountain Front field director