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An Intensive Cultural Resources Survey of the USACE Jurisdictional Areas within the 153.0-acre Cuatro Vientos Tract in Webb County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
On 21 April 2015, Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) jurisdictional areas within the 153.0-acre Cuatro Vientos tract located just southeast of Laredo in Webb County, Texas (Project Area). In all, the USACE jurisdictional areas within the Project Area total approximately 13.6 acres along opposing sides of an unnamed tributary of Chacon Creek. Although the Project Area consists of private property and will be developed with private funds, its development will require the usage of a Nationwide Permit (NWP) issued by the USACE. As NWPs are federal permits, the undertaking also falls under the regulations of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended. Horizon conducted the cultural resources survey of the USACE jurisdictional areas on behalf of Laredo Four Winds, LTD. (LFW) in compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA. The purpose of the survey was to determine if any archeological sites were located within the USACE jurisdictional areas and, if any existed, to determine if the project had the potential to have any adverse impacts on sites eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
The cultural resources survey resulted in the reevaluation and partial boundary revision of portions of previously recorded site 41WB441 that are located within the USACE jurisdictional areas contained within the Project Area. Site 41WB441 was originally documented as an extensive prehistoric campsite by TRC Mariah and Associates (TRC) in 1997. In 2001, Blanton and Associates, Inc. (Blanton) reassessed a portion of the site and also recorded sites 41WB574 and 41WB575 within its overall boundaries. Realizing that sites 41WB574 and 41WB575 were smaller activity loci within the larger 41WB441, Blanton opted to include all 3 of these sites under the 41WB441 trinomial. Although this site is extensive, both TRC and Blanton assessed it as being ineligible for inclusion on the NRHP based on the presence of only surficial cultural deposits that have been comingled over time. While Horizon’s investigations resulted in a slight expansion of the overall boundaries of the site, they also documented only sparse and surficial cultural deposits within the expanded area. With this in mind, it is Horizon’s opinion that site 41WB441 is still considered to be ineligible for inclusion on the NRHP and that no additional cultural resources investigations are warranted on the site in connection with the current undertaking.
Based on the fact that site 41WB441 has now been assessed on 3 different occasions as being ineligible for inclusion on the NRHP, it is Horizon’s opinion that the development of the Cuatro Vientos tract will have no adverse effect on significant cultural resources listed on or considered eligible for listing on the NRHP within the USACE jurisdictional areas. Horizon therefore recommends that LFW be allowed to proceed with the development of the Project Area, relative to the jurisdiction of the USACE and Section 106 of the NHPA.
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