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Kendall Edmo, with her two year old daughter, in the Badger-Two Medicine.
(Rebecca Drobis for Earthjustice)
feature September 1, 2023

Too Sacred To Drill

The Blackfeet Nation has prevailed in a four-decade fight to fend off oil and gas development in the Badger-Two Medicine region of Montana.

Two Medicine River, in the Badger-Two Medicine area. (Gene Sentz)
Press Release September 1, 2023

Last Oil and Gas Lease in the Badger-Two Medicine Retired

Blackfeet traditionalists and conservationists reach historic settlement agreement with leaseholder, ending 40-year struggle to prevent oil and gas drilling on public lands sacred to the Blackfeet Nation

Press Release November 2, 2022

Citizens of the Blackfeet Nation and Montana Fight Back To Defend Blackfeet Culture and Wild Lands

Groups pursue their case in court and call on all parties to come together to seek a solution

Press Release September 9, 2022

Blackfeet Traditionalists, Sportsmen, and Conservationists Vow Continued Fight to Protect the Sacred Badger-Two Medicine

Coalition formed to fight court battle remains steadfast in opposition to industrialization of Montana’s finest outdoor and cultural heritage

document September 9, 2022

Solonex Case Opinion

A federal District Court in Washington, D.C. has reinstated a canceled energy lease and drilling permit in Montana’s famed Badger-Two Medicine region, prolonging the threat of industrialization across Blackfeet Nation sacred lands.

Kendall Edmo with her daughter, in the sacred Badger-Two Medicine area. A Blackfeet tribal member, Edmo works to protect the Badger-Two Medicine area from oil and gas drilling.
(Rebecca Drobis for Earthjustice)
Press Release: Victory June 16, 2020

In Victory for Blackfeet Nation, Appeals Court Upholds Protection of Sacred Badger-Two Medicine

Blackfeet traditionalists, sportsmen, and conservationists celebrate victory and urge permanent protections for Badger-Two Medicine

Jake Gladstone, Montana's Blackfeet Troubadour, in the Badger-Two Medicine area in northwest Montana.
(Rebecca Drobis for Earthjustice)
Press Release January 10, 2017

Conservation Groups Celebrate Cancellation of the Last Oil and Gas Leases in the Badger-Two Medicine

Cancellation of two remaining leases marks pinnacle in 35-year effort to protect ecologically vital area that is sacred to the Blackfeet Tribe

document January 6, 2017

Reply Brief of Pikuni Traditionalist Association, Et al., to Plaintiff’s Supplemental Brief on Summary Judgment

The response brief filed by plaintiff Solenex LLC repeatedly asks this Court to disregard controlling precedent; ignore plain statutory, regulatory, and contractual language; and adopt outlier positions. Solenex suggests that such extreme actions are necessary in this case to avoid
injustice due to the cancellation of its federal mineral lease in the Hall Creek area of the Badger-Two Medicine region, but dismisses the injustice that would befall the public interest if Solenex’s position were to prevail. The Court should reject Solenex’s arguments.

document January 6, 2017

Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment

Solenex previously owned a federal oil and gas lease, which was issued to Solenex’s predecessor in 1982. In 2013, Solenex initiated this case in an effort to compel Defendants to lift the suspension of the lease, which had been in place since 1985. On July 27, 2015, this Court ruled
that Defendants had unreasonably delayed as a matter of law and ordered Defendants to prepare a schedule for determining whether to lift the suspension on the lease. Dkt. # 52 at 2–3, 5.1 In response, the Secretary of the Interior cancelled the 33-year-old lease on March 17, 2016. Dkt. #68-1.

document November 28, 2016

Brief of Pikuni Traditionalist Association, Et al., in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment and in Support of Federal Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment

Pikuni Traditionalist Association, Blackfeet Headwaters Alliance, Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, Montana Wilderness Association, National Parks Conservation Association, and The Wilderness Society (collectively, “PTA”) submit this brief to oppose summary judgment arguments advanced by Plaintiff Solenex, LLC. Solenex challenges the Federal Defendants’ cancellation of a federal onshore oil and gas lease formerly held by Solenex in the Hall Creek portion of the Badger-Two Medicine area, which is located within the Lewis and Clark National Forest in northern Montana. PTA, et al., are non-profit organizations dedicated to the conservation of the natural and cultural environment, including the Badger-Two Medicine region at issue in this case.

Jake Gladstone, Montana's Blackfeet Troubadour, in the Badger-Two Medicine area in northwest Montana.
(Rebecca Drobis for Earthjustice)
Press Release November 16, 2016

Badger-Two Medicine: Too Sacred to Drill

U.S. Interior Department strikes agreement with Devon Energy to retire contested leases

document May 10, 2016

Memorandum in Support of Motion to Reopen

A coalition of Blackfeet cultural leaders, local community members, and conservationists filed a request in federal court to oppose a Louisiana oil company’s legal campaign to drill in the Badger-Two Medicine area of Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front.

Jake Gladstone, Montana's Blackfeet Troubadour, in the Badger-Two Medicine area in northwest Montana.
(Rebecca Drobis for Earthjustice)
Press Release May 10, 2016

Blackfeet Cultural Leaders And Conservation Groups Seek To Defend Cancellation Of Badger-Two Medicine Lease

Diverse groups intervene in Solenex LLC lawsuit to protect sacred lands from oil and gas drilling

document March 17, 2016

Interior Dept. Cancels Solenex Lease

Federal Defendants notify the Court that the BLM, with the concurrence of the Department of the Interior, has canceled the Lease.

Two Medicine River from the Hall Creek trail.
(Photo provided by Gene Sentz)
Press Release: Victory March 17, 2016

Badger-Two Medicine Declared Too Sacred to Drill

Earthjustice statement on the Department of Interior’s decision to cancel an illegal Solenex lease for oil and gas development

document March 3, 2016

Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendants’ Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment

On March 17, 2016, the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) cancelled a mineral lease held by Solenex LLC in an area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest where Congress has permanently withdrawn from mineral leasing and development. The Secretary explained that, although this
lease had issued before the ban went into effect, the lease had been invalid from its inception due to noncompliance with multiple federal laws. The Secretary reasoned that Congress’s subsequent leasing ban left her without discretion to correct deficiencies in the lease, and that even if she had discretion to do so, she would not exercise that discretion because mineral development on the subject land would irreparably harm irreplaceable natural and cultural resources. For the same reasons, and in the same decision, the Secretary also disapproved
Solenex’s Application for a Permit to Drill (“APD”).

document November 23, 2015

Response to Court Order

Solenex LLC. v. S.M.R. Jewell, Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior, et al.