Monday, October 26, 2015

Retired Forest Service Leaders Urge Lease Cancellation in Badger-Two Medicine

A slate of former U.S. Forest Service leaders this week joined a growing bloc of supporters calling for the cancellation of energy leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area near Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack received a letter from 19 former U.S. Forest Service leaders recommending that all oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine be cancelled. In the letter, the former land managers encouraged the agencies to cancel the leases, and collectively aligned with the recommendation of an independent federal agency that oversees the preservation of historic places, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), which last month said energy exploration on the Badger-Two Medicine would degrade the region’s cultural values, and that no amount of mitigation could lessen the damage. The leases are on land considered sacred by the Blackfeet Tribe. The entire 165,588-acre area encompasses lands within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Lewis and Clark National Forest and Flathead National Forest, and is listed as a Traditional Cultural District under the National Historic Preservation Act...more

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