The B2M is part of the traditional homeland of the Blackfeet Indians, who sold the area to the U.S. government in 1895-96 but reserved certain sovereign rights such as hunting and fishing. Now part of the Lewis and Clark National Forest, the Badger-Two Medicine is one of the last, best places for rare and vulnerable fish and wildlife species – including native cutthroat trout, grizzly bear, wolverine, and mountain goat.
Over the past century, successive generations of citizens and government leaders have worked hard to save the core of this Crown of the Continent ecosystem by establishing world-class parks and wildernesses, coupled with conservation of critical wildlife habitat on state and private lands along the periphery. These collective achievements constitute a great gift, but one important piece remains missing in this remarkable legacy: the Badger-Two Medicine.
Earlier political efforts in the 1980s and 1990s to safeguard the Badger-Two Medicine area through Wilderness designation by Congress did not succeed. But could there by a new and different path? Now is the time to complete the legacy by charting a new path for protection of the Badger-Two Medicine based upon new information, greater mutual understanding and leadership … a path of co-stewardship that integrates the wildlife and cultural values into a vision of vital land, sacred land.
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Photo credits: Banner | William Halliday © WCS Canada