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Intensive Archeological Survey of the Dairy Farm Road at Palo Pinto Creek, Palo Pinto County, Texas.
Texas Historical Commission
On behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation, SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey with mechanical trenching on September 19, 2017, of 1 acre of existing right-of-way (ROW) along Dairy Farm Road in Palo Pinto County, Texas. Because the project will receive funding from the Federal Highways Administration, it qualifies as an undertaking as defined in Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 800.16(y) and, therefore, survey was conducted in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (54 U.S. Code 306108). Furthermore, the project must also comply with the Antiquities Code of Texas (9 Natural Resources Code 191). Jon Budd served as Principal Investigator under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 8132.
The area of potential effects (APE) is defined as the existing 80-foot-wide Dairy Farm ROW beginning 250 feet east of the Palo Pinto Creek waterline and extending 500 feet west. According to project design, the depth of impacts will be up to 50 feet below the current ground surface for the bridge supports, 12 feet for the bridge headers, and 3 feet for the approaches.
A background literature review determined that the APE has not previously been surveyed for cultural resources and no archeological sites, historical markers, or cemeteries are within 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) of the APE.
The field investigation of the proposed project APE consisted of five backhoe trench (BHT) excavations and one column sample. The existing ROW has been modified by the construction of Dairy Farm Road and an earlier roadway that parallels Dairy Farm Road. Portions of the ROW consist of short grasses, naturally overgrown vegetation, and mixed hardwoods. SWCA identified three faunal element fragments (deer) in BHT01 and BHT05. The two deer fragments in BHT01 were encountered in association with a tin can (modern) in a disturbed context, while the single deer fragment in BHT05 was subsequently investigated with a column sample. No cultural materials or features were identified in the column sample. Overall, no prehistoric or historic cultural resources were identified in the proposed project APE. The investigations also encountered a buried soil in BHTS 02 through 05, which was negative for cultural materials. This buried soil is similar to that described by previous investigators along Palo Pinto Creek that has been tentatively interpreted to be contemporaneous with the West Fork Paleosol, which was deposited about 1,000 to 2,000 years ago.
SWCA made a reasonable and good faith effort as per 36 CFR Part 800.4(b)(1) to identify and locate prehistoric and historic archeological properties within the proposed project APE. The field investigation discovered no cultural resources; therefore, SWCA recommends that a finding of “no historic properties affected” be made for the current undertaking.
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