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Salazar Meets With Mashpee Wampanoag Over Cape Wind Concerns

This article is more than 9 years old.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes, right, take in the view while on an information gathering tour of Nantucket Sound regarding the viability of Cape Wind on Tuesday. (AP)
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes, right, take in the view while on an information gathering tour of Nantucket Sound regarding the viability of Cape Wind on Tuesday. (AP)

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar met Tuesday with leaders of two Massachusetts Indian tribes opposed to the wind farm proposed for the waters off Cape Cod.

Salazar said he had a "wonderful" meeting with representatives of the Mashpee Wampanoags and the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah. Both tribes say the energy project would interfere with their ancient and sacred rituals, and desecrate tribal burial sites.

WBUR's Curt Nickisch spoke with Salazar at the end of the tour in Woods Hole. "He's out there, as he puts it, on an information-gathering mission," Nickisch said. "He says he's a farmer and rancher — as much as he looks at maps and charts, he still has to get out to the land and get outside to really get a feel for what's going on."

Salazar attended a Mashpee Wampanoag sunrise ceremony on the Cape's coast to get a sense of the tribe's spiritual connection to Nantucket Sound.

The secretary indicated he would make his decision in April and asked the tribes to try to come to a consensus before then. Salazar said he came to Massachusetts to keep a promise to consult with the tribes as the project moves forward.

Developers have proposed erecting 130 turbines, each over 400 feet tall, over a 25-square mile swath of federal waters. Supporters say the project will provide cheaper energy and reduce pollution.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This program aired on February 2, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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