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Texas Historical Commission
Eastland County Water Supply District has contracted with HDR Engineering, Inc. (HDR) to conduct an intensive archaeological survey in advance of the proposed improvements to the Lake Leon Dam in Eastland County, Texas (Figure 1). The Area of Potential Effects (APE) includes an approximately 6-acre emergency spillway area located east of Farm-to-Market Road (FM) 2461, approximately 400 feet (ft; 122 meters [m]) south of its intersection with County Road (CR) 569, in Eastland County, Texas. Correspondence with the Texas Historical Commission (THC) recommended that a survey be conducted within the emergency spillway area on the east side of FM 2461, but no survey was recommended for the proposed dam slope improvements (Osburn 2016).
This project is being funded by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The use of federal funding for the project requires that the project comply with the regulations set forth in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) as amended. Additionally, as an entity of the State of Texas, the Eastland County Water Supply District is required to be in compliance with Chapter 191 of the Texas Natural Resources Code, also known as the Antiquities Code of Texas (13 Texas Administrative Code [TAC] 26.12). The purpose of the archaeological investigation is to determine the presence/absence of archaeological resources (36 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 800.4) within the APE 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 NHPA, as amended or as a designated State Antiquities Landmark (SAL) under the Antiquities Code of Texas (13 TAC 26.12).
HDR completed an intensive archaeological survey of the entire six-acre APE on August 14, 2017. The survey crew included principal investigator Megan Koszarek and crew chief Melanie Johnson, and a total of 16 person hours were invested in the field survey. This work was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit Number 8129.
During the course of the survey, the entire APE was pedestrian surveyed with transect intervals no greater than 15 m (49 ft), and a total of 12 shovel tests were excavated. No archaeological sites were recorded during the course of the survey. One historic isolated find (HDR-ISO-001) was recorded within an ephemeral creek bed. Isolated finds do not meet the basic definition of a site and are therefore not eligible for inclusion in the NRHP.
In accordance with 36 CFR 800 and 13 TAC 26.12, no further cultural resources investigations are recommended for the presently-defined APE, and the proposed improvements project to the Lake Leon Dam may proceed. However, in the event that any archaeological deposits are encountered during construction, work should cease, and the THC should be notified.
Upon the completion of fieldwork, all project-related materials (i.e., field forms, photographs, correspondence, etc.) will be curated at the Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS) at Texas State University in San Marcos.
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