The Badger-Two Medicine region nestles between the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Glacier National Park and the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. It also lies in legal limbo after the latest court decision re-opened a fight over energy drilling rights that’s been going on for three decades.
On September 9, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ordered the Department of Interior to re-instate a federal lease and drilling permit to Solenex LLC. That lease covers about 10 square miles of the Badger Two Medicine, and the permit potentially opens it to road-building for drilling rigs to explore for oil.
Last week, the coalition of environmental groups and Blackfeet cultural organizations returned to court seeking to overturn Leon’s latest order. It’s a back-and-forth routine that’s gone on since the 1980s. And while many thought the matter settled at the end of the Obama – and then Trump – administrations, it now appears to live on through the Biden administration.
People are also reading…
On this episode, Missoulian reporter Josh Murdock and Managing Editor Rob Chaney recount the history of the Badger-Two Medicine legal fight and why this place is important.
This podcast is created in partnership across five newsrooms – the Billings Gazette, the Helena Independent Record, the Missoulian, the Montana Standard and the Ravalli-Republic. You can support this podcast and our efforts by subscribing. Visit any of these newspapers’ websites, and click on the Become a Member button at the top of the home page. We appreciate your support of local journalism.
Thom Bridge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org