Support the Badger-Two Medicine Protection Act

The Badger-Two Medicine represents one of the largest unprotected roadless areas in the lower 48 states

By Louis Bruno

I am a retired school teacher and professional naturalist guide. I have lived at the foot of the Badger-Two Medicine for the past 45 years.

The Badger-Two Medicine represents one of the largest unprotected roadless areas in the lower 48 states. Taken on its own, it represents some of the finest wildlife habitat in the United States. It serves as critical habitat for moose, elk, grizzly and black Bear, wolf, mountain lion, westslope cutthroat trout and countless other sensitive species. When you consider its position in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, it is crucial to its biological integrity. It also serves as the spiritual anchor for Blackfeet culture.

In 1984, I and other local residents, both tribal and non-tribal, formed the Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance in response to the threat of oil and gas development. The U.S. Forest Service provided a map showing a scenario of development for the area over the next 10 years. It showed 23 gas wells with inter-connecting roads and a gas processing plant in the center of the unit. Such development would have totally destroyed the area for recreation, wildlife and Blackfeet use for spirituality. The Blackfeet and other Montana citizens have spent the past 45 years advocating for a wild Badger-Two Medicine. In the ensuing years, countless United States citizens have urged protection for this area. Such upwelling of public support for protection led the Secretary of Interior to place a moratorium on future oil and gas leases in the area.

The Badger-Two Medicine Protection Act would permanently protect this area from industrial development. For this reason, I urge everyone to support this crucial piece of legislation.

Louis Bruno
East Glacier Park

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