Guide to the Badger-Two Medicine Oral History Project

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Overview of the Collection

Title: Badger-Two Medicine oral history project
Dates: 2006 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 5 interviews
Collection Number: OH 416
Summary: The five interviewees recorded for this project in 2006 describe the Badger-Two Medicine area located by the Blackfeet Reservation and Glacier National Park in Montana. They discuss their lives in the area from early homestead years up to current land use controversies, 1930-2006.
Repository: University of Montana-Missoula
Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library
Archives and Special Collections

The University of Montana—Missoula
Missoula, MT 59812

Languages: Materials are inEnglish 

Historical Note

The Badger-Two Medicine area is a 200 square mile portion of the Lewis and Clark Forest that is adjacent to the Blackfeet Reservation and Glacier National Park. It is sacred ground for the Blackfeet tribe. The Treaty of 1896 gives Blackfeet tribal members the right to hunt and fish the area in accordance with state law and to cut wood for domestic use. The Blackfeet have battled to protect Badger-Two Medicine by keeping the area roadless and by fighting proposed oil and gas drilling all along the Front, which is managed largely by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Blackfeet have been assisted by conservation groups, preservationists (including the National Trust for Historic Preservation), outdoor sportsmen, ranchers and business owners.

Approximately 93,000 acres are currently recognized as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) as a traditional cultural district (TCD), but proponents continue to lobby to have the entire Badger-Two Medicine area recognized as an eligible TCD.

In January 2011, a federal district judge cleared the roadblock on the U.S. Forest Service's Badger-Two Medicine travel plan. The plan allows motorized access on eight miles of established trails and bans all snowmobile travel.

Content Description

The five interviewees recorded by interviewer David Brooks in 2006 describe the Badger-Two Medicine area located in the Lewis and Clark Forest adjacent to the Blackfeet Reservation and Glacier National Park in Montana. They discuss their lives in the area from early homestead years up to present land use controversies including proposed wilderness designation. The time periods discussed in these interviews range from the 1930s to 2006. The interviewees' occupations include Forest Service laborer and fire fighter, outfitter and guide, and ranch owner.

David Brooks, the interviewer, began doing oral history interviews as an Anthropology Department Master's student at The University of Montana-Missoula. He received a Matthew Hansen Award to conduct the Badger-Two Medicine interviews, which he proposed because of his academic interest in environmental history.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Researchers must use collection in accordance with the policies of Archives and Special Collections, the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, and The University of Montana-Missoula.

Restrictions on Use :  

Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. and any other applicable statutes. Copyright transferred to The University of Montana-Missoula.

Preferred Citation :  

[Name of interviewee], OH 416, Badger-Two Medicine Oral History Project, Archives and Special Collections, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, The University of Montana-Missoula.

Administrative Information

Custodial History :  

David Brooks held the interviews until their donation to Archives and Special Collections.

Acquisition Information :  

Donated by David Brooks and each interviewee, 2006.

Processing Note :  

David Brooks recorded the interviews with digital equipment. Archives staff downloaded the interviews to the Archives & Special Collections server, made CD use copies, and transcribed the interviews.

Detailed Description of the Collection

OH 416-01: Art and Anna Trenkle, 2006 August 8
Sound Recording, digital, 687 MB, Wav
Transcript, 20 leaves
Art Trenkle names and describes many of the original homesteaders in the Badger-Two Medicine area; Mr. Trenkle describes growing up on the Rising Wolf Ranch and his family’s outfitting business and early tourism in the area. He discusses natural resource use (timber, game, minerals, etc.) in the area and his opinions on a possible oil drilling project; as well as his experiences as a firefighter and laborer for the Forest Service.
OH 416-02: Rick Lucke, 2006 August 21
Sound Recording, digital, 655 MB, Wav
Transcript, 19 leaves
Rick Lucke explains the history of the Badger-Two Medicine area and previous homesteaders. He describes his family outfitting business and experiences, and shares stories about past residents of the area. Lucke gives his opinion on motorized vehicle usage in the Badger-Two Medicine and its effects on wildlife and the landscape.
OH 416-03: James Stewart, 2006 September 17
Sound Recording, digital, 489 MB, Wav
Transcript, 13 leaves
Stewart lists past owners of the Rising Wolf Ranch and their histories. He describes the history of land usage at Rising Wolf and the Badger-Two Medicine. Stewart explains his opinion about motorized vehicle abuse. Stewert describes his land donation to the Nature Conservancy, alterations made to the original Rising Wolf Ranch buildings and fire/flood damages, and ends with hunting and fishing restrictions in the area.
OH 416-04: Hugo Johnson, 2006 September 17
Sound Recording, digital, 227 MB, Wav
Transcript, 8 leaves
Hugo Johnson tells about growing up in the Badger-Two Medicine area as a guide in a family of outfitters. He explains his father's work on the crew that built the first roads into the area. Johnson talks about the effects of grazing in the area, as well as other uses of natural resources (possible drilling for oil and gas), which leads him to a discussion of his trip to Washington, with other residents, to lobby for designating Badger-Two Medicine as a wilderness area. Throughout the interview, Johnson discusses the use of ATVs in the area and his opposition to this activity.
OH 416-05: Dan Smiley, 2006 September 16
Sound Recording, digital, 697 MB, Wav
Transcript, 20 leaves
Dan Smiley discusses the history of the Badger-Two Medicine area including Native American activities, homesteading, 1910 fire and the Jennings homestead/dude ranch. He talks about ranch life, livestock, and grazing practices, as well as hunting and trapping practices from earlier times, focusing on the experiences of George Jennings. He discusses the present decline in outfitting businesses, the efforts to designate the area as a protected wilderness, and the impacts of overuse on the land.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings. Transcripts of the interviews were created by Archives staff.

    • Corporate Names :
    • Rising Wolf Ranch (Mont.)--History
    • United States. Forest Service--Officials and employees
    • Geographical Names :
    • Badger-Two Medicine Area (Mont.)--History
    • Subject Terms :
    • Frontier and pioneer life--Montana
    • Land use--Montana.
    • Oil well drilling--Montana
    • Outfitters (Outdoor recreation)--Montana
    • Ranching--Montana
    • Tourism--Montana
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Interviews--Montana
    • Oral histories--Montana
    • Sound Recording
      • Other Creators :
      • Brooks, David, interviewer  ( interviewer)
      • Johnson, Hugo, interviewee  ( interviewee)
      • Lucke, Rick, interviewee  ( interviewee)
      • Smiley, Dan, interviewee  ( interviewee)
      • Stewart, James, interviewee  ( interviewee)
      • Trenkle, Anna, interviewee  ( interviewee)
      • Trenkle, Art, interviewee  ( interviewee)

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