Originally Posted on November 18, 2016
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“This is the right action to take on behalf of current and future generations,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell - She said it would protect the region’s “rich cultural and natural resources and recognizes the irreparable impacts that oil and gas development would have on them.”
The exploration leases in Montana covered parts of the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest in northwest Montana, an expanse that covers a 130,000 acres surrounded by Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the Blackfeet Indian reservation.
“There aren’t many places like this left in the lower 48,” said Michael Jamison, a senior program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, noting that the area is home to grizzly bears, elk, wolves and an array of other wildlife. “It is a tremendously important ecosystem.” #OurAmazingWorld
Harry Barnes, chairman of the Blackfeet Nation Tribal Business Council, said in an interview that area has been long been a sacred spot for the tribe.
“A lot of our creation stories emanate from this area. It’s a significant area, it always has been for thousands of years,” Barnes said. “While we’re not opposed to oil and gas exploration, we are opposed to oil and gas exploration in that area.”
He called Wednesday’s settlement a “victory for not only the Blackfeet people, but for all of America. It’s such a beautiful area. It’s Mother Earth, and it needs to be enjoyed by everybody.”
The full Washington Post story here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/11/16/obama-administration-reaches-deal-to-cancel-oil-leases-on-lands-tied-to-tribe/