KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) Nineteen former U.S. Forest Service Leaders are asking federal officials to cancel all oil and gas leases on land east of Glacier National Park that is considered sacred by Native Americans.
The Oct. 19 letter comes with the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management set to decide whether to cancel a drilling lease owned by Louisiana-based Solenex LLC next month.
The letter is signed from retired Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth and forest supervisors from several Montana national forests.
It says they see no way for drilling to happen without permanent changes affecting the land's cultural, traditional and religious use by Blackfeet Nation.
Baton Rouge-based Solenex is suing the U.S. government to lift a decades-long suspension of the lease its owner, Sidney Longwell, acquired in 1982.