Manzanita Band of Mission Indians - 1995 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Manzanita Band of Mission Indians
Location: Boulevard, CA
Project Title: Manzanita Wind Energy Office & Education Project
Type of Application: First Steps (Planning)
DOE Grant Number: DE-FG48-95R810591
Project Amounts:
DOE: $80,000
Awardee: $14,608
Total: $94,608
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 1995
End: March 1997

Project Description


The Manzanita Indian Reservation was established in 1891. The reservation comprises a land base of 3,579.38 acres, and is located approximately 60 miles east of San Diego. Elevations on the reservation range between 3,600 and about 4,900 feet.

The climate at Manzanita is moderate with annual precipitation of about 20 inches. Temperatures range from a high of 106 degrees to a low of 12 degrees F. According to a tribal survey conducted in 1996, Manzanita has a resident population of 91. The Manzanita Reservation has excellent natural resources, which include windy, high desert lands that the community is considering developing as a wind farm project.

The wind resource at Manzanita was first documented in the early 1980s by the California Energy Commission in a statewide wind assessment program. In the early 1990s, Manzanita negotiated with a wind developer, which monitored the wind on the reservation.

Goals and Objectives

In 1995, funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Title XXVI, Indian Energy Resources was used to establish the Manzanita Alternative Energy Office. Focusing on the abundant wind energy resource at Manzanita, the Alternative Energy Office was formed to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Establish a wind energy office;
  • Educate and train tribal members in the field of wind energy power generation and project development; and,
  • Establish a wind energy monitoring program.
The background photo shows the Manzanita reservation in southern California, about 50 miles east of San Diego.  The terrain is desert, with several mountains in the background.  Inset photos show  the 90 foot anemometer tower for wind measurements; the Manzanita Tribal Office; and the Manzanita Community Center, which houses the Alternative Energy Office.

Under their Title XXVI grant, the Manzanita Band established an Alternative Energy Office to undertake a wind resource assessment program and to educate and train tribal members in the areas of wind energy generation and project development. The resource assessment effort indicated that the reservation has a very good wind regime, suitable for construction of a commercial-scale wind farm.

Project Actions and Resultant Data

To meet these objectives, the following activities were accomplished during the funding period:

Establish a Wind Energy Office

A Wind Energy Office (known as the Alternative Energy Office) was established at the Manzanita Activities Center. Project staff maintained the Wind Energy Office and education project files and communications on a daily basis. Wind project staff prepared project update reports and presented them to the Tribal Council at each regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

Project staff worked with California Indian Legal Services to research and initiate acquisition of a parcel of Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-controlled land, which is located to the northwest of Manzanita and might be appropriate for wind development. In the past, the BLM has made unwanted land available to Indian reservations.

Educate and Train Tribal Members about Wind

Wind Energy Office and education project staff worked to inform and educate the tribe about their wind energy resource to remove barriers to renewable energy acceptance and development. This included a wind farm tour for tribal members, attending training and reporting back to the tribe, a tribal wind workshop, information acquisition, and involving tribal members in installing and monitoring the wind resource.


Project staff attended the following meetings and workshops and reported to the tribe at the monthly meeting following each workshop.

  • Bridging the Gap, Center for Applied Research, Santa Fe
  • American Wind Energy Association's Annual Conference
  • Tribal Wind Workshop, Rocky Boy Reservation.
Wind Farm Tour

On April 18, 1996, Claude Kirby, the Bureau of Land Management's wind expert for the southern California area led a tour of the San Gorgonio wind farms for wind project staff and two tribal members. The tour was documented on video and subsequently presented to Manzanita tribal members who had not attended the tour.

Tribal Wind Workshop

A workshop on wind and its potential was held for tribal members and guests. Wyatt Rogers, of III Sigma, was invited to speak at this workshop. His presentation focused on wind economics and was favorably received by meeting attendees.

Other tribal wind energy projects were identified and presented at the workshop as models, which can provide valuable information to help overcome barriers to wind energy development and acceptance at Manzanita.

Information Acquisition

Wind energy publications and videos were acquired primarily from the American Wind Energy Association's publication office. The assembled information was placed in the Manzanita Tribal Library, which is located in the Manzanita Activities Center (the "MAC" Center). Manzanita tribal members were notified of the availability of the wind information resources. Fact sheets on wind energy were distributed to tribal members. The video, Power from the Wind, produced by the American Wind Energy Association, was shown to tribal members.

Wind Energy Monitoring Program

Wind project staff gathered and organized existing wind data from various sources. A 90-foot wind measurement station was purchased from the Kenetech Corporation and installed by tribal members with assistance from a local contractor. Software to analyze the data was purchased from NRG Systems.

Results, Conclusions, Findings, and Recommendations

Manzanita has received funding from the Administration for Native Americans to develop regulations and ordinances pertaining to development of the wind energy resource at Manzanita. The Manzanita Regulatory Committee will be convened for this project and California Indian Legal Services will assist in the development and review of the ordinances and regulations. In addition, the Alternative Energy Office Manual will be compiled, which will include the ordinances prepared under the ANA-funded program.

The Alternative Energy Office Manual will be made available to Tribal Council members as a guide to be utilized in the decision-making process for community and economic planning and development of the wind energy resource on the Manzanita Reservation.

Project Status

For current project status or additional information, contact the project contacts.

Project Contact

Manzanita Band of Mission Indians
PO Box 1302
Boulevard, CA 91905
Telephone: (619) 766-4930