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Intensive Archaeological Survey of the Proposed El Indio Ranch Roads Maintenance Project Maverick County, Del Rio Sector, Texas U.S. Customs and Border Protection Department of Homeland Security
Texas Historical Commission
The Border Patrol Facilities & Tactical Infrastructure (BPFTI) Program Management Office (PMO), within Customs and Border Protection (CBP), contracted HDR to conduct a cultural resources survey of the Area of Potential Effects (APE), which includes approximately 60.44 miles (97.27 kilometers [km]) of existing roads located on the O’Brien Cinco Ranch in the Del Rio Sector. The APE was limited to the width of the existing ranch roads and a three foot (ft; 1 meter [m]) buffer on either side. The purpose of the cultural resources investigation in the APE is to determine the presence/absence of archaeological resources (36 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 800.4) and to evaluate identified resources for their eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), as per Section 106 (36 CFR 800) of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, or as a designated State Antiquities Landmark (SAL) under the Antiquities Code of Texas (13 TAC 26.12). Fieldwork was completed by Principal Investigator Megan Koszarek and Project Archaeologist Ben Fullerton between September 28 and October 1, 2015. A total of 64 person-hours were invested in the field portion of the project.
The survey resulted in a pedestrian walkover and photo-documentation of the entire 60.44 mile (97.27 km) APE. The entire APE was heavily disturbed due to the previous maintenance and use of the roads by the private landowners. The roads varied throughout the APE. A majority of the roads were graded and bounded by slough piles on either side, and some of the graded roads were bounded by ditches. In addition, the survey crew also encountered gravel roads, two track roads, and the entire length of FM 2366 was paved. Most of the maintenance activities for the roads consisted of grading, sculpting, and ditch excavation
During the course of the survey, two prehistoric archaeological sites (41MV397 and 41MV398) were recorded, both of which were heavily disturbed by the existing roads and lack integrity. As a result, sites 41MV397 and 41MV398 are recommended not eligible for inclusion in the NRHP. In addition, 18 prehistoric, non-site isolated finds (EI ISO 001–EI ISO 018) were identified during the course of the survey which do not meet the definition of a site.
Furthermore, 13 previously recorded sites (41MV255, 41MV267, 41MV268, 41MV356, 41MV265, 41MV273, 41MV274, 41MV275, 41MV276, 41MV271, 41MV272, 41MV283, and 41MV279) were revisited within the current APE. Of these previously recorded sites, only one (41MV255) still exists within the APE. However, while artifacts were observed at site 41MV255, the APE is heavily disturbed by the existing ranch roads, and all the artifacts are out of context, thus the site within the APE lacks integrity. Therefore, site 41MV255 is recommended not eligible for inclusion in the NRHP within the current APE. The remaining 12 sites which were revisited (41MV267, 41MV268, 41MV356, 41MV273, 41MV265, 41MV274, 41MV275, 41MV276, 41MV271, 41MV272, 41MV283, and 41MV279) have all been destroyed within the APE and are recommended not eligible for inclusion in the NRHP within the current APE.
No NRHP eligible archaeological sites were identified during the investigation. In accordance with 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 800 and 13 Texas Administrative Code [TAC] 26, no further archaeological investigations are recommended. As a result of the present survey, it is recommended that the proposed ongoing maintenance of the 60.44 miles (97.27 km) of existing roads within APE will not have any effect on cultural resources in the project APE. In the event that any archaeological deposits are encountered during construction, work should cease, and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) should be notified.
All records and materials generated by this project will be permanently curated at the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
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