Zinke backs tribes in drilling dispute on sacred lands

News Type: State, Regional, Federal Source: Mountain West News
Click here to read the article: https://mountainwestnews.org/north-idahos-pollution-time-bomb-a6301dcf2b4d

The Trump administration plans to appeal a federal court ruling that would allow oil and gas drilling in the Badger-Two Medicine, a swath of the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana considered sacred to tribes in Montana and Canada, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said today.

Zinke said it would be inappropriate to allow drilling in northwestern Montana’s Badger-Two Medicine area, site of the creation story for the Blackfoot tribes. He’s asked government attorneys to appeal a September ruling that reinstated a nearly 10-square-mile (26-square-kilometer) oil and gas lease in the area bordering the Blackfeet Reservation and Glacier National Park.

The lease had been cancelled under President Barack Obama at the urging of the tribes and environmentalists before it was reinstated by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon.