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JON TESTER semen =e Dnited States Senate et March 27, 2015 The Honorable Sally Jewell ‘The Honorable Tom Vilsack Secretary Secretary USS. Department of the Interior USS. Department of Agriculture 1849.C StNW 1400 Independence Avenue SW Washington, D.C. 20240 Washington, D.C. 20250 Dear Secretary Jewell and Secretary Vilsack: 1 write regarding potential action on existing oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area in Northwest Montana. This area has unique cultural, historical, spiritual, and recreational significance to the people of the Blackfeet Nation and Montana. With that in mind, I respectfully request that the remaining oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine be cancelled to prevent adverse effects to the land or the people of the region. ‘The Badger-Two Medicine area is located at the intersection of the Blackfeet Reservation, Glacier National Park, and the Bob Marshall Wildemess Complex. It is pristine Jand that is home to grizzly bears, cutthroat trout, elk, wolves and mountain lions, and some of the best recreation and hunting opportunities available in our beautiful state, More importantly, it serves as a central cultural, spiritual, and recreational area of significance to the Blackfeet Nation, On October 28, 2014, the Blackfeet Tribe, along with the Blackfoot Confederacy of Canada and the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council, sent you a letter outlining their concerns and requesting the remaining oil and gas leases in the Badger-Two Medicine area be terminated to preserve and protect this significant area. The Blackfeet Tribe contends that these leases were granted without the required consultation of the Tribe, without an adequate Environmental Impact Statement, and in direct violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. ‘When the 47 leases were granted by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service in 1982, they were granted without any tribal consultation or adequate environmental studies. Later in 1985, these agencies approved a drilling permit on one of the leases in the region, with more being considered. Although this oversight was partially mitigated a decade later with a drilling moratorium established in the region, pending litigation continues to threaten the integrity of land. Since the moratorium was announced, all but 18 leases were voluntarily relinquished by stakeholders. The remaining leases pose significant risk to the area, both with potential adverse environmental impacts of oil and gas drilling, and with cultural and spiritual impacts on the people of the Blackfeet Nation who utilize the region. Bozewan eure ue Gnear Fas evens Kauiseet 1406) 686-4450 (40s) 723-2277 (oat (408 452-9585, 1406) 440-5401 (aoe) 257-2360 Bums Missouta (406) 252-0550 (405) 728-3003 As stated by the Blackfeet Tribe in their letter to each of you last year: “The Departments of Interior and Agriculture clearly have not just the moral obligation but also the legal authority to cancel all existing leases in the Badger- Two Medicine area. The Interior Department already has exercised this lease- cancelation authority including the 2009 cancelation of leases on Colorado’s White River National Forest due to fundamental NEPA violations.” agree, and ask that you work deliberately and expeditiously to respond to the concerns of the Blackfeet Nation. Additionally, I urge you to exercise your authority to cancel the remaining oil and gas leases pending in the Badger-Two Medicine area. Finally, I respectfully ask that you meet with the leadership of the Blackfeet Nation to discuss this critical issue. Sincerely, bP Senator Jon Tester

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