MANAGEMENT SUMMARYPROJECT NAME:
Cape Vincent Wind Power Project
SHPO PROJECT REVIEW NUMBER:
INVOLVED STATE/FEDERAL AGENCIES:
NYSDEC, Public Service Commission, US Army Corps of Engineers
PHASE OF SURVEY:
Phase 1A Cultural Resource Assessment
Cape Vincent (MCD 04505)
PROJECT DESCRIPTION/SURVEY AREA:
is proposing to develop a large wind-powered generating facility in the Town of
Cape Vincent, Jefferson County,New York
. The number of turbines and associated access roads/buried cables are not yet finalized, but the completesite outline encompasses an area of approximately 14,500 acres (5,868 hectares).
Geographically, this region is part of the St. Lawrence-Lake Ontario Lowland province of northern New York State.For the Cape Vincent region, the land is flat to gently sloping, marked by isolated southwest oriented low ridges.Dispersed between these low ridges are a network of small streams and creeks, all flowing southwest toward LakeOntario and the St. Lawrence River.
USGS QUAD MAPS:
1990 1:250,000 Kingston, New York-Ontario1989 1:100,000 Cape Vincent, New York
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE SENSITIVITY ASSESSMENT:
Numerous prehistoric sites have been identified in the St. Lawrence-Lake Ontario Lowlands,and it is highly probable that significant evidence of prehistoric and contact period landuse and settlement is locatedwithin the project area. Groups likely targeted specific landforms based on favorable conditions, such as the accessibilityof water, good drainage, and soil fertility. Each landform type offered a unique set of physical advantages anddisadvantages for prehistoric landuse and settlement. For descriptive purposes these advantages/disadvantages can besummarized by outlining some general landscape variables: access to water, land slope, soil drainage, soilproductivity/work-ability, site accessibility, and resource availability. The scale of the Cape Vincent project areaencompasses landforms with differing ranges and combinations of environmental variables.
Of particular significanceto the project area are the Jefferson County and St. Lawrence Iroquoian populations.
The historic site assessment suggests a fairly low potential for much of the project area. From theavailable historic maps we know that numerous structures (both current and former) are within the limits of the projectarea, but most appear to flank the major roads and transportation routes, or cluster around the lake bays. Large chunksof the project area are “blank” on the historic maps, and it is likely much of the region was wooded, poorly-drained,and/or agricultural during the 19 and early 20 century.
This assessment is not meant to imply that there is no chance of identifying a historic archaeological site within the CapeVincent project area. Pioneer families were present in the region prior to the publication of the historic maps, and thearea was used during the colonial Fur Trade and War of 1812. In addition, if impacts are expected adjacent to major roads or historic structures, the potential for encountering a buried historic site rises significantly.