Tribes Get a Hearing On Wind Farm Opposition

February 3, 2010

Author: Beth Daley

Source: The Boston Globe

The place? Middle of Nantucket Sound. The weather? 28 degrees and overcast.

And with the wind barely blowing yesterday, the conditions were hardly ideal for talking about plopping a 130-turbine wind farm about 5 miles off Cape Cod.

Yet there was US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the man deciding the fate of t he controversial wind farm, sitting on the bridge of a Coast Guard vessel and peering out across the Sound with binoculars a few hours after meeting with Native Americans opposed to the Cape Wind project.

“Very meaningful,’’ said Salazar about his visit that included a private sunrise meeting with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe on a Cape Cod beach, and a later discussion with the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe on Martha’s Vineyard.

Standing on the deck of the Ida Lewis during a boat tour of the proposed wind farm’s footprint, he said he came to Cape Cod and the Islands as a sign of respect to the Wampanoag tribes’ deep reverence for the water body.