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An Intensive Cultural Resources Survey of Frontier Communications Corporation’s Proposed Amistad Electric Line Project in Val Verde County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
On 26 October 2017, Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey of Frontier Communications Corporation’s (FCC) proposed Amistad Electric Line Project in southeastern Val Verde County, Texas (Project Area). The undertaking will be privately funded and will not require any federal permits. However, it is located on property within the Amistad National Recreation Area, a federal property maintained by the National Park Service (NPS). As the undertaking is located on federal property, it is regulated by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) of 1979 and the Antiquities Act (AA) of 1906. On behalf of FCC, Whitenton Group (Whitenton) contracted with Horizon to conduct the cultural resources survey of the Project Area in compliance with the ARPA and the AA. The purpose of the cultural resources survey was to determine if any archeological sites were located within the Area of Potential Effect (APE) and, if any existed, to determine if the project had the potential to have any adverse impacts on sites listed on or considered eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The investigations were conducted under ARPA Permit No. 17-AMIS-01.
The undertaking consists of the removal of old communication poles from within an existing electrical transmission line right-of-way (ROW) within the Amistad National Recreation Area. The APE for the undertaking measures approximately 1.0 miles (1.6 kilometers [km]) long by 30.0 feet (9.1 meters [m]) wide (approximately 4.0 acres).
Horizon’s survey efforts resulted in the observation of a solitary chert flake on a landform in the northern extent of the Project Area. An intensive surface inspection on this landform, as well as the excavation of 10 shovel tests in the vicinity of the solitary specimen, failed to document any additional cultural materials at the location. As such, the specimen is considered an isolated find and was not documented as a formal archeological site.
Site 41VV1222 is a previously recorded, low-density, prehistoric lithic scatter that is mapped in proximity to the southern extent of the Project Area. Horizon’s survey efforts failed to find any materials associated with the site within the current Project Area. However, supplemental survey efforts conducted by Jack Johnson (Amistad Park Archeologist), who has first-hand knowledge the site’s location, resulted in the reassessment of the site’s sparse deposits as well as an accurate plotting of its location on the landscape. Based on its sparse and surficial nature, the lack of temporally diagnostic implements, and the lack of preserved floral and faunal materials, it is Horizon’s opinion that site 41VV122 is ineligible for inclusion on the NRHP and that no additional investigations are warranted on the site in connection with the current undertaking.
Based on the results of the cultural resources survey, it is Horizon’s opinion that the undertaking will have no adverse effect on any significant cultural resources listed on or considered eligible for listing on the NRHP within the APE. Horizon therefore recommends that FCC be allowed to proceed with the development of the Project Area relative to the jurisdiction of the ARPA and AA.
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