HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled to cancel a long-disputed oil and gas lease on land in northwestern Montana considered sacred to Native American tribes in the U.S. and Canada.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday reversed a judge's 2018 decision that had allowed a Louisiana company to keep its lease within the Badger Two-Medicine area of Lewis and Clark National Forest.

The lease owned by Solenex LLC was the last active exploratory lease of about 45 issued in the Badger-Two Medicine area since the 1980s.

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