TRC

White Mountain Wind Energy Cultural Resource Investigation

This 360-MW Wind Energy Project was located in an area surrounded by numerous historic trails and other sites of Native American tribal significance.

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Client

Teton Wind LLC

Project Location

Southeastern Wyoming

The White Mountain Wind Energy project is a 360-MW wind energy project that required an Environmental Assessment to address cultural and Native American issues (among others) prior to permitting by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The project area is located on White Mountain, a prominent geologic uplift visible from up to 25 miles away. It encompasses and is surrounded by numerous historic trails and other sites of Native American tribal significance.

TRC conducted multi-faceted studies to identify, evaluate, and mitigate potential impacts to cultural sites that might be physically or visually affected by the project. TRC conducted a Class III cultural resource inventory of the 2,600-acre project area to identify and evaluate cultural sites that might be physically affected by the project. TRC completed a Class I literature search for a 25-mile radius surrounding the project to identify known cultural sites that might be visually affected by the project. Staff then prepared a visual effects assessment that utilized a viewshed analysis, photosimulations, comparative videography of existing wind projects, and visual contrast rating worksheets to evaluate potential visual effects to sensitive cultural sites such as historic trails, petroglyphs, and stone circles. TRC staff participated in tribal consultation efforts between the BLM and interested Native American tribes to identify, evaluate, and mitigate project impacts to sensitive sites within and surrounding the project area.

The resulting Programmatic Agreement allowed the BLM to issue a Record of Decision and the project to move forward.

See related services

Cultural Resources Management

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