Expert defends siting efforts

The view from Killdeer Mountain

The view from Killdeer Mountain

An archaeological expert is speaking out in defense of Basin Electric’s siting efforts along the proposed 345-kilovolt transmission line being planned for western North Dakota. A Feb. 14 editorial written by the Fargo Forum calls into question the cooperative’s diligence in siting the project, which would go through a portion of a proposed study area for the Killdeer Mountain battlefield.

Kimball Banks, Ph.D., heads the Bismarck office of Metcalf Archaeological Consultants, which conducted archaeological investigations along the line’s route in 2011. Banks submitted a letter to the editors of the Fargo Forum, which was published on Feb. 20.

In the letter, Banks gives details of Metcalf’s efforts to examine possible impacts on the battlefield, efforts that include walking the project corridor.

He defends the efforts of Basin Electric, his firm, and the State Historical Society, and respects the rights of landowners, stating, they “have done due diligence in compliance with state and federal laws. Local landowners respect and protect the battlefield. These landowners also recognize a need for the transmission line and granted Basin right of way across their lands. Basin and Metcalf have actively sought their input as to an appropriate and acceptable route.”

Read the letter in its entirety on the Fargo Forum website.

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