Opinion

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Letter

Protect Badger Two-Medicine

I urge you to contact Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt

Imagine working for an oil company and tasked with finding a drilling site with the most dramatic ecological and cultural impacts possible. The presence of threatened species and pure water is an ideal addition. If you’re looking to cause irreversible environmental harm to a one-of-a-kind area, you would be hard-pressed to find an area better than Badger Two-Medicine. This scenario seems ridiculous, but there are striking similarities between this scenario and the reality of oil and gas leasing in Badger Two-Medicine.

Situated between Glacier National Park, the Blackfeet Reservation, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, Badger Two-Medicine is a glistening natural gem and a source of pride for many Montanans. It is also the source of the Blackfeet creation story and is officially designated as a Traditional Culture District.

In the 1980s, President Reagan illegally partitioned land within Badger Two-Medicine for oil and gas leasing. In 2016, those leases were not renewed. A lawsuit ensued by the oil companies, resulting in a district judge in D.C. reinstating the leasing process.

If you care about protecting this pinnacle of Montana wilderness, I urge you to contact Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt.

Oliver Gill
Missoula