Conflict Resolution: Crossing The Divide

An oil company confronts the ghosts of sacred tribal land

How you value the place depends on what you call it, and what you call it depends on who you are. To the Bureau of Land Management, its landlord, the sandstone canyon southwest of Billings, Mont., is known as Weatherman Draw. The BLM leases the mineral rights to the site for $1 per acre per year, or $160--about the price of an average downtown parking spot. To the Anschutz Exploration Corp. of Denver, which holds a permit to drill for oil there, the canyon is designated as Federal Lease MTM-74615. Should the company's wells pan out, the canyon could be worth...

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