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U.S. Department of Interior Cancels Badger-Two Medicine Leases

Y2Y is praising US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's announcement to cancel 15 leases in Montana's sacred Badger-Two Medicine region.

MEDIA RELEASE
November 17, 2016

Sacred Blackfeet Region Moves Closer to Protection

Washington, DC - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is praising an announcement today by US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to cancel 15 of the remaining 17 leases in the Badger-Two Medicine region of Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest. The announcement was made together with Blackfeet Nation Tribal Chairman Harry Barnes, Montana Senator Jon Tester, and Devon Energy Corporation President and CEO David Hager.

"This is a great day for the Badger-Two Medicine. For more than 30 years the Blackfeet people and their colleagues in the conservation community have been fighting to protect this culturally and biologically rich landscape. Today they are one step closer to permanent protection for the region," says Stephen Legault, Program Director for Y2Y.

“The Badger-Two Medicine forms the backbone of the world for the Blackfeet," says Dr. Jodi Hilty, President and Chief Scientist at Y2Y. "It's the source of many of their creation stories and is an important part of the Nation's effort to rebuild its foundational relationship with their culture and with Mother Earth. Y2Y is deeply grateful that Devon Corporation, working with the Blackfeet people, and with senior members of the Obama administration, were able to come to this same conclusion."

The Badger-Two Medicine region is an area of 165,000 acres of unprotected National Forest land wedged between Glacier National Park to the north, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex to the west and south. The region is bordered to the east by the Blackfeet Reservation. It is part of the internationally-celebrated Crown of the Continent.

"The Badger-Two Medicine is at the heart of the Yellowstone to Yukon region," says Legault. "Grizzly bears, wolverines, bighorn sheep and elk all move through this country as they pass along the rocky mountain landscape. Reducing the threat of oil and gas development in this crucially significant and ecologically-critical region is important on a continental scale."

"Y2Y would like to congratulate the Blackfeet people who have always been leading advocates for the Badger-Two Medicine. We'd also like to congratulate Senator Tester and Secretary Jewell, along with David Hager and the Devon Corporation, for the farsighted announcement today. Thanks also to the National Parks Conservation Association, the Glacier-Two Medicine Alliance, the Montana Wilderness Association, the Pikanni Traditionalist Society, Blackfeet Headwaters Alliance, the National Wildlife Federation, Backcountry Anglers and Hunters, Obtainable Sustainable Solutions, The Wilderness Society, Earthjustice, Wildlife Conservation Society, and many others for supporting this step towards long-term protection of the region."

Legault notes that by working together tribes, communities, and conservationists, along with the federal and state governments, can achieve lasting success.

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For further comment contact:

Stephen Legault 
Y2Y Program Director - Alberta, Crown and NWT
403-688-2964 | stephen@y2y.net

View the U.S. Department of Interior’s press release here.