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Project Details

Cultural Resources

Archaeological Surveys at Reservoirs

Various reservoirs throughout Oregon
US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District

Harris Environmental conducted archaeological surveys of four project areas in eastern Oregon for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Portland District, in order to support the agency’s responsibility for NHPA Section 106 compliance. Fieldwork and reporting followed Oregon SHPO standards. The project areas consisted of 2,960 acres of drawdown zones of the Fall Creek, Fern Ridge, Detroit Lake, and Willow Creek Reservoirs, located in Lane, Marion, and Morrow Counties. The reservoirs were drawn down to expose areas not previously surveyed for cultural resources. Topography of the project areas varied from flat open valleys to steep ridges bordering creeks and rivers, with surrounding coniferous forests. Crews regularly trudged through deep muds to complete the project field work. As the result of survey, 57 new prehistoric and historic archaeological resources and 49 previously recorded sites were documented and evaluated. The survey identified an extensive history of human occupation in the project areas from the Archaic period through the mid-twentieth century, with many resources related to trade and transportation in the area. Some of the resources recorded included a probable Archaic stemmed point, a wide-stemmed projectile point resembling the Borax Lake Cluster from Northern California, a section of the Oregon Pacific Railroad, and an early twentieth century transmission line. The survey areas also contained evidence of heavy logging activity that occurred prior to the construction of the reservoirs. Four technical reports were prepared for this project with a short turnaround time.

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cultural resources survey

F-Bar Ranch, Navajo County, AZ
US Bureau of Land Management

Harris Environmental completed a Class III cultural resource inventory for a proposed invasive species eradication program in Navajo County, Arizona on 480 acres. For the Class I inventory we conducted research at the BLM District Office, as well as reviewed previous archaeological site and survey data at the Arizona State Museum archives and utilized the AZSITE database to identify previously known archaeological sites and cultural resource management surveys conducted within the study area. The Class III inventory identified 35 new sites. Most were prehistoric, including the Ancestral Puebloan (room blocks and activity areas). We also encountered several historic sites including a historic quarry, remnants of a telegraph line, as well as a section of a historic road (prior main North/South route and a Mormon Honeymoon Road). We identified looting at Puebloan room block sites, holes inside walls where looters may have employed a backhoe looking for complete vessels, and provided recommendations for BLM’s continued management of cultural resources. The project is an example of Harris Environmental’s commitment to high-quality field work and reporting, to developing and maintaining productive relationships and timely communications with our clients, and to working within BLM time and fiscal constraints.

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CULTURAL RESOURCES AND NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT:
SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTISE

Various locations in AZ, CA, TX , WA
US Department of Homeland Security, Customs & Border Protection

Harris Environmental provided Subject Matter Expert services in cultural resources to Customs and Border Protection Facilities Management and Engineering Office. This complex project required us to provide a team of qualified environmental SMEs in cultural resources, environmental planning, and project and program management. This project demanded a thorough understanding of the cultural issues associated with the actions the agency proposed to undertake and a comprehensive understanding of federal, state, and local regulatory requirements. We completed 28 different task orders along the U.S.– Mexico and U.S. – Canada International Borders, many under hazardous conditions (remote and rugged country, under threat of violence from smugglers). Tasks included NRHP eligibility evaluations; cultural resources inventories; documentation of historical facilities; preparation of monitoring plans and monitoring construction areas; and developing National Environmental Policy Act documents. We worked on multiple projects at one time, each with a different project manager and each with a fast-paced deadline. We prepared reports for each task and navigated them through federal regulatory review and state SHPO review. All project objectives were met within our established schedules and budgets.

In addition, our experience includes numerous electrical co-operatives throughout Arizona. For these, we have conducted natural and cultural surveys/compliance reports.

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CONSTRUCTION MONITORING
HARDROCK ABANDONED MINE CLOSURES

Five National Parks in Arizona
US National Park Service

Harris Environmental provided project supervision to ensure compliance with the construction contract and associated environmental protection measures for the hardrock closures at Coronado National Memorial, Saguaro National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Biological monitors were present for construction activities at all mine features, and an archaeological monitor was present during ground-disturbing activities associated with closure of mine features listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. We were responsible for ensuring minimal impacts to cultural and natural resources, and that applicable mitigation measures were applied/as well as the appropriate closure method. Work was conducted in remote and rugged areas which required long hiking and, at some mines in the Grand Canyon, helicopter use. Also, for two of the park units located near the U.S./Mexico International Border, we worked with armed escorts for safety.

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Yuma Proving Grounds, AZ
US Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District

We surveyed over 23,000 acres, evaluating selected test ranges and other areas of the greater Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) military installation. YPG consists of remote desert terrain and environment located in southwestern La Paz County and western Yuma County, Arizona. We provided recommendations regarding the eligibility of recorded archaeological sites for listing, individually or as potential contributors to a historic district, on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). For selected test ranges within YPG, we provided Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Escorts. We conducted fieldwork at unusual hours and on weekends to avoid interfering with military training exercises. We devloped and maintained an effective Quality Control Program (QCP) to ensure services were performed in accordance with the contract and developed and implemented procedures to identify, prevent, and ensure non-recurrence of defective services. All archaeological work conducted as part of this contract was accomplished according to the Secretary of the Interior’s “Standards and Guidelines”, and the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office “guidelines.” Site recording and documentation adhered to standards found in the Arizona State Museum “Archaeological Site Recording Manual” and survey and documentation adhered to the “Yuma Proving Ground Archaeological Survey and Report Standards.” Field surveys included standard site mapping, photography, global positioning system (GPS) recording of sites, structures, features, artifacts and isolated occurrences, including trails and GIS data included spatial information for all survey areas, archaeological sites, and isolated occurrences. All work completed was detailed prior to execution in a comprehensive Work Plan, which included Goals, Objectives, identified key personnel and their roles and responsibilities, and survey methodologies used. The Work Plan also included a site-specific addendum to the corporate health and safety plan for evaluating and surveying selected areas and test ranges, many of which were located in remote areas characterized by extreme environmental conditions including severe weather and terrain.

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Yakima Training Center & Joint-Base Lewis-McChord, WA
US Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District

Harris Environmental completed archaeological surveys, archaeological site assessments, archaeological site evaluations, and data recovery excavations at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Pierce and Thurston counties, Washington. Archaeological surveys covered over 600 acres, including ten previously identified archaeological sites, which were selected due to impact from known previous or potential effects of military activities and maneuvers. Archaeological survey included subsurface testing in the form of shovel test probes. Six new archaeological sites were recorded as a result of the survey. The majority of the sites investigated were historic period sites, which required extensive research into the property ownership history and genealogical research on the families and individuals who occupied and created the sites. Archaeological resources investigated were associated with the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, historic homesteads, the early logging industry in western Washington, historic schools, and historic military activity, including training areas, parade grounds, and a Vietnam mock village. Data recovery investigations were carried out at a late 1800s homestead site, because future military disturbances at the site cannot be avoided. A research design was prepared to guide excavations. Excavations were carried out over a 3-week period and included the excavation of 100 shovel test probes and 29 1-by-1-meter test units. All surface diagnostic artifacts were collected, as well as all subsurface artifacts. Artifacts were analyzed and cataloged by Harris Environmental and prepared for long-term curation. A comprehensive report was prepared to document the archaeological investigations findings.

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