Massachusetts tribes to continue fight against wind farm

Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe vowed to continue their fight against a controversial wind farm in Massachusetts that won approval from the Obama administration on Wednesday.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar backed the Cape Wind project over the tribe's objections. The tribes say no amount of mitigation will address their concerns about sacred and cultural sites on Nantucket Sound.

"We are disheartened and disappointed with Secretary Salazar's decision to proceed with the Cape Wind project," the Aquinnah Tribe said in a statement, The Cape Cod Times reported. "The tribe has no choice but to explore all of its options for relief from this decision, including injunctive relief."

"While we strongly support renewable energy, and appreciate that Secretary Salazar will be reopening the government to government consultation, no amount of mitigation will change the fact that this is a site of great historical and cultural significance for our tribe, and is inappropriate for this project," Mashpee Chairman Cedric Cromwell said in a statement, The Cape Cod Times reported.

Cape Wind plans to erect 440-foot tall turbines in the sound. The tribes say they will interfere with their view of the sun -- the Wampanoag people are known as the People of the First Light in their language.

Salazar said Cape Wind will have to reduce the number of turbines for the project and change the orientation in response to tribal and local concerns. The developer also has to conduct more environmental studies to address impacts on sacred and cultural sites in the sound, which used to be dry land and plays an important role in Wampanoag history.

The tribes aren't the only opponents. The Kennedy family, some members of the state's Congressional delegation and local residents believe the turbines will destroy the character of Martha's Vineyard island and of Cape Cod.

Get the Story:
Cape Wind wind farm approved (The Cape Cod Times 4/29)
Cape Wind OK’d in a first for the nation (The Boston Globe 4/29)
Cahill says Cape Wind is 'not the real solution' to state's energy needs (The Boston Globe 4/29)
Obama Administration Advances Cape Wind, but Challenges Remain (ClimateWire 4/29)
Big Wind Farm Off Cape Cod Gets Approval (The New York Times 4/29)
Cape Cod Residents Don’t Expect One Ruling to End Long Fight (The New York Times 4/29)
Offshore wind farm near Cape Cod, first in U.S., gets federal approval (The Washington Post 4/29)

Relevant Documents:
Press Release | Fact Sheet | Environmental Assessment | Finding of No New Significant Impact | Record of Decision | Project Site Map | Secretary’s Response to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Related Stories:
Salazar approves wind farm despite sacred site concerns (4/28)
Editorial: Wind farm in Massachusetts good for the nation (4/27)
Salazar expected to make wind farm decision by Friday (4/26)
Salazar not meeting with anyone over wind farm project (04/16)
Deadline nears for Salazar on contentious wind farm bid (4/15)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe blasts Salazar for wind farm (4/13)
Panel backs Wampanoag tribes in dispute over sacred sites (04/05)
Panel hears concerns over wind farm at Wampanoag site (03/23)
Opinion: Tribal claims about sacred site are questionable (3/22)
Quapaw chairman named to panel in sacred site dispute (03/15)
Opinion: Wampanoag leaders speak with forked tongue (3/9)
Wampanoag tribes rejected $2M in sacred site dispute (3/5)
Salazar set for action on wind farm at Wampanoag site (3/2)
Deadline approaches for Salazar in sacred site dispute (2/26)
Wind farm company offered $1M in sacred site dispute (2/25)
Aquinnah attorney hired by wind farm developers (2/19)
Salazar not expecting consensus on wind farm project (2/3)
Salazar meets Wampanaog tribes to discuss sacred site (2/2)
Wampanoag tribes gain support in sacred site dispute (1/26)
Massachusetts tribes discuss concerns about wind farm (01/14)
Salazar to meet tribes and wind farm developers in DC (1/13)
Editorial: Approve wind farm over sacred site concerns (1/11)
Salazar to meet with tribes over wind energy project (1/8)
Editorial: Resolve tribal objections over wind project (1/7)
Salazar sets deadline on wind project and sacred site (1/6)
Opinion: Respect tribal concerns over wind energy bid (12/01)
Wampanoag tribes challenge wind energy project (11/13)
Editorial: Wampanoags blow smoke on wind plan (11/10)
Letter backs Massachusetts tribes on sacred site (11/6)
Interior promises action on wind turbine project (11/3)
Editorial: Reject tribal claim on wind turbine site (11/2)
Massachusetts tribes fight wind farm project (10/5)
Obama declined Aquinnah Wampanoag meeting (08/31)
Letter: Tribal opposition to wind energy project (07/16)
Massachusetts tribes oppose wind turbine site (7/15)