Texas Historical Commission


San Miguel Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SMECI) contracted HDR, Inc. (HDR) to conduct a cultural resources survey of the approximately 12.5-acre (544,496-square feet [ft²]) Area of Potential Effects (APE), which is bisected by Farm to Market Road 791 (FM 791) in McMullen County, Texas. This survey was conducted in advance of the proposed construction of an overpass on FM 791 to accommodate an access road (haul road) for the San Miguel Mine.

The APE is contained within three parcels, two of which are currently owned by SMECI— parcels 3434 and 3428. The third parcel, 3036 is owned by the heirs of James L. Rayes, pending SMECI’s acquisition of the property. No portion of the APE falls within the FM 791 right-of-way (ROW). The corridors for the haul road and the overpass are outside of the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RCT). Therefore, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will act as the lead agency for the proposed project.

The archaeological investigation conducted by HDR consisted of a survey of the APE to determine the presence/absence of archaeological resources by employing shovel testing, pedestrian survey, and photo-documentation. Fieldwork was completed by Principle Investigator Megan Koszarek and project archaeologist Ben Fullerton on February 17, 2016. A total of five person-hours were invested in the field portion of the project. The work for this project was completed under Texas Antiquities Permit Number 7729.

One previously recorded archaeological site, 41MC106, was mapped within the southern portion of the APE. The recorded location of the site within the APE was revisited during the course of the survey and no cultural materials were identified. As a result, site 41MC106 is not present within the current APE.

Due to the high surface visibility throughout the project area (approximately 30 to 60 percent surface visibility) the survey resulted in a pedestrian walkover and photodocumentation of the entire project area. The survey resulted in the identification of one isolated find (SM ISO 001). A shovel test was excavated adjacent to the isolate to confirm that the find was limited to the surface. Isolated finds do not meet the definition of an archaeological site and are therefore not eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Placed (NRHP). No new 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 FM 791 overpass construction within the current APE will not have any effect on cultural resources in the project APE, and construction may proceed. In the event that any archaeological deposits are encountered during construction, work should cease, and the 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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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
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