Access Negotiations Between Landowners and Tribal Groups
The challenge of energy projects is all the different stakeholders that participate in these projects. They don’t happen unless all people involved in the local community, from the landowners, to the county, to the state, to the agencies, come together, work together, and collaborate. And one case on a wind project in Wyoming, we encountered a little bit of a different stakeholder in that we had to work with the local Indian group. In which case, we were up on a mountaintop, and they found some wheels, some Indian artifacts on this mountain, and it was determined that the Indians should be able to conduct their vision quests up in the middle of this wind project. So, in order for the wind project to be successfully developed, there had to be a co-operative agreement entered into with these tribal groups so that at certain periods of time, they would be able to access the property. There was one access point, and the interesting thing was that the landowners in the project had to agree to enter into these easement agreements with these tribal councils in order to provide for this access. So, we were the key negotiator and liaison between the landowners and the Indian tribes, to be able to reach a successful resolution on that agreement so that they would be able to access the property without it interfering with the agriculture use in the grazing and the other uses of the property, in order for the project to be developed and financed.