Possible Burial Site In Lyon County May Delay Bakken Pipeline

Inwood, Iowa — There could be another hurdle for the Bakken oil pipeline. And this one is in Lyon County.
Crude Oil derrick
According to Iowa State Archaeologist John Doershuk, a Native American tribe contacted his office to tell them about a potentially “culturally-significant” site.

While he cannot say exactly where the site is at this time, Doershuk assured us that it is not near the Blood Run National Historic Landmark site that is being considered for a new Iowa State Park. According to maps released by Dakota Access, the pipeline route is in the Canton, South Dakota and Inwood, Iowa area.

Doershuk says they are trying to determine the significance of the site.

He says that they hope to meet within the next couple of weeks at the site along the Big Sioux.

Doershuk tells us what his role will be at the meeting.

He says that he and his staff and the tribe that identified the site location have confirmed the reported site is within a portion of the Big Sioux Wildlife Management Area in Lyon County, intersected by the proposed Dakota Access pipeline project. He says the site is a property managed by the Iowa DNR but over which the US Fish and Wildlife Service has jurisdiction. The area also corresponds to one of the pipeline sections for which the US Army Corps of Engineers has permitting authority.

Doershuk says that the site has been identified by the tribe as of historical and cultural significance with associated burial activity. The possible burial of ancient remains at the site is what got the office of State Archaeologist involved, he says.

He says that the site boundaries and character will be discussed and refined at the on-site meeting. He says they hope consensus will be reached at that time about management of the site.

The pipeline, which is planned by Dakota Access, LLC, a division of Energy Transfer Partners, is to extend from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois, passing through portions of Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien counties along the route.

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