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Celebration will mark the end of the last oil and gas lease in Badger-Two Medicine

Badger-Two Medicine, looking up Hall Creek towards the Solenex lease site (photo by Gene Sentz)
Badger-Two Medicine
Posted at 5:28 PM, Oct 23, 2023

On Tuesday, October 24, 2023, an event will be held at the Celtic Cowboy Darkhorse Hall in downtown Great Falls to celebrate the Badger-Two Medicine area. The event will be from 6:30 to 8:30pm.

Last month, the last remaining oil and gas lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area was canceled.

This area covers about 130,000 acres and was once a part of the Blackfeet reservation, making it culturally significant to the Blackfeet tribe.

47 leases were originally released in the Badger-Two Medicine area in the early 1980s; in 2006 congress ended up withdrawing the area from all future oil and gas leases.

Peter Metcalf, executive director for the Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, will be speaking at the event and sharing stories about the importance of the area.

“It's a really big deal. The Badger-Two Medicine, as many of your viewers may know, is the traditional territory of the Blackfeet Nation that the tribe considers sacred and super important for cultural and spiritual purposes,” said Metcalf. “As well as a place where they retain reserve rights for hunting and fishing and gathering and other uses.”

Metcalf will walk attendees through the 40-year journey of collaboration between Blackfeet tribal members and various conservation groups who have worked together to get these oil and gas leases removed for good.

“It was a court-mediated process between the federal government and the organizations that were interveners in the lawsuit to defend the government’s original 2016 cancellation decision of that lease,” said Metcalf.

In addition to the Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, other organizations involved in the process were the Piikani Traditionalist Association and Blackfeet Headwaters Alliance, Wild Montana, the National Parks Association, the Governor’s Society, and Earthjustice.

For more information, contact Sara Buley at sarabuley@gmail.com. The Darkhorse Hall is at 118 First Avenue South in Great Falls.