Texas Historical Commission
This report presents the results of an extensive photographic survey of recreational boulder climbing routes (i.e., bouldering problems) and enhanced documentation of Native American rock imagery at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site in El Paso County, Texas, by Versar, Inc., for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Fieldwork for this project was conducted between March and June 2016. Based on the two most comprehensive bouldering guidebooks available for Hueco Tanks, approximately 1,901 published bouldering problems exist within the park. Of these, 172 bouldering problems are within areas indicated as closed as of June 2015 by the Public Use Plan and park administration for erosion control, rock art protection, or other resource conflicts and therefore were not part of the survey scope; however, 18 of these closed bouldering problems were documented during training exercises for this survey. An additional 122 previously unpublished bouldering problems were identified and documented during this survey. In total, 1,869 bouldering problems were documented by this project. During this survey, the rock surface along each boulder problem was systematically photographed. A digital image enhancement algorithm (DStretch) was applied to each survey photograph, which were then reviewed for the presence of Native American rock art imagery or pigment remnants. Native American imagery or pigment remnants were identified and documented at 31 locations within or near currently open bouldering problems and at three locations adjacent to currently closed problems. Native American rock imagery identified and documented during this effort range from sparse pigment remnants to identifiable stylistic elements and patterns characteristic of the Jornada Mogollon prehistoric cultural region.
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