Quechan Tribe Sues to Halt Construction of Wind Factory on Sacred Land

The Quechan Tribe has filed suit to halt construction of the 112-turbine Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility on BLM-administered land in Southern California.

"The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has the following warning on its web page regarding Southern California’s Coyote Mountains Wilderness Area: 'Removal, disturbance or attempting to remove archaeological materials is a felony. Selling, receiving, purchasing, transporting, exchanging or offering to do so is prohibited by law.'

Even though the Department of the Interior has acknowledged that the Coyote Mountains Wilderness Area as an established archaeological site and the prehistoric and historic presence there of the Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, on May 11 Secretary Ken Salazar signed the record of decision (ROD)—the official approval—for construction of the Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility (OWEF), a massive industrial wind factory of 112 turbines, each standing 450 feet tall, across 10,150 acres of public land that is sacred to the Quechan, Kumeyaay and Cocopah Nations. The land is approximately 90 miles east of San Diego. In addition to the turbines, the project includes a 12-acre concrete batch plant-laydown area, a 3.4-acre site for an operations-and-maintenance facility, a 2.1-acre substation, a 23.5-acre interconnection switchyard, up to three permanent meteorological towers, and around 42 miles of new access roads."

Gale Courey Toensing reports for Indian Country Today News Network June 23, 2012.


Source: Indian Country Today, 06/25/2012