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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

DMG Four Corners Research, Inc. conducted cultural resource monitoring at seven proposed geological study loci (shallow drill holes and excavation units of less than 50 feet) at the request of JOBE Materials, L.P., on Texas GLO lands southeast of El Paso, in Hudspeth County, Texas (Figure 1.1). Mineral rights are owned by the State of Texas. The geological study loci were confined to Texas GLO Block 10, Sections 15, 21 and 22 (Figure 1.2) within 1323 acres, although a larger permit area was granted. The project was initiated on January 23, 2014, and completed on January 24, 2014. No named roads exist in the area; the proposed site would serve as a new facility operated by JOBE Materials, L.P., located near the existing Padre Canyon Quarry. The entire project area is undeveloped land, used most recently for grazing. Parallel gas pipelines and a two-track road run through the project area, representing the greatest extent of disturbance other than natural sources.

Jeffery Hanson, Ph.D., served as Principal Investigator under Texas Antiquities Permit 6760. David Greenwald served as Project Manager and Monitor; he possesses extensive previous experience working in the Hueco Bolson and Tularosa Basin and has previous experience within the specific project location. Pre-field planning selected areas beyond known site locations. Each proposed geological test location was intensively inspected prior to any equipment entering the area or ground disturbance. Equipment used to complete the geological study included a boring rig and an excavator. No sites were encountered although notes regarding observations regarding nearby artifacts, possible features, and stains of cultural or possible cultural origin were made and GIS coordinates recorded for confirmed cultural remains.

1.1 Project Objectives and Location

The project area is located east of Horizon City, Texas, within an area that is largely undeveloped. The JOBE Materials, L.P., existing Padre Canyon Quarry is located immediately west of the project area in Sections 16 and 21 (Figure 1.2). The quarry is plotted on the Padre Canyon, Texas 7.5-minute 1978 USGS map, located south of the Hueco Mountains in far western Texas, near the margin of the Rio Grande watershed. The Hueco Mountains trend in a north-south direction and separate the Hueco and Diablo Plateaus to the west and east.

Project objectives were to avoid all previously recorded cultural resources, and to identify and document any cultural resources found during the inspection of each geological study locus, and to evaluate each cultural resource for its National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligibility using all criteria listed in 36 CFR 60.4, and for nomination as State Antiquities Landmarks. The area is primarily a broad alluvial fan; dunes and aeolian deposits are not present. The geotechnical study was proposed to define the shallow geological formations and soil types present. Originally 10 to 12 study units were planned; however, only seven were actually undertaken. Initial in-field analysis suggested that the geological materials within the permit area did not meet requisite needs for JOBE’s proposed project. Following additional analysis and assessment of the recovered geological samples, the proposed project was discontinued.

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