The 100-MW Northern Wind facility is located in The Buffalo Ridge, a ridgeline in southwestern Minnesota which encompasses the second highest elevation in Minnesota and comprises a region of high wind resources. It is a sacred landscape to many American Indian tribes and has a rich precontact and post contact history. There are many important known precontact archaeological sites along the ridge.
In operation since 2003, the wind farm was recently repowered to improve efficiency and extend the life of the site. 106 Group supported the Upper Sioux Community Tribal Historic Preservation Office by providing osteological expertise. The 106 Group osteologist confirmed identification of bones that were encountered during the wind farm’s construction operations within culturally sensitive areas. During construction, the 106 Group osteologist supported Tribal Monitors in-person or was available remotely for rapid-response bone identifications during all ground-disturbing activities, resulting in reduced project delays. We aided in monitoring and surface surveys of areas with ground visibility.
No human remains were identified during construction. Identification was handled through a structured communication protocol between the 106 Group osteologist and Tribal Historic Preservation Office, Tribal Monitors, construction management, and project management.