Archaeological Reports

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After preliminary review of these archeological reports and studies done in the project area, specifically Class III Historic and Architectural resources inventory of lands for Western Mobile and Hart Environmental reports, conducted between August 9th and August 30, 1997 by Western Historical Studies, Inc. (and in 1949 and in the 1980’s) on the ~600 acres project area, located east of US HWY 36 and south of HWY 66, we’ve found some alarming facts that are highlighted subsequently for your immediate consideration:

1) Recommendations made by the archeologist(s) for further study of numerous sites were never done.

2) at least 18 sites (including three prehistoric sites, several BURIAL sites 5BL2 / 5BL379, 5BL8, 5BL62, 5BL9, 5BL285), 15 irrigation related sites were determined to meet the eligibility criteria for the National Registry of Historic Places (NRHP) and none of the sites were / have been registered.

“The survey resulted in the recordation of three archeological sites, five farmstead sites, two agriculturally related building sites, 15 irrigation sites (ditches & features)…Each of the 15 irrigation related sites are recommended as eligible for inclusion in the NRHP because of their relationship to the pioneer development of irrigation in Boulder County and their relationship to the early 20th century expansion of irrigation in the County”. Also discovered in Site 5BL876, “the earliest and westernmost known occurrence of Plains Pottery in Colorado”. 

*The burden of responsibility for filing with the NRHP lies with the landowner– and in the case of the project area in question, that is BCPOS’ [Boulder Parks & Open Space] jurisdiction.  We formally request that BCPOS do their due diligence and register each of the recommended eligible sites, including all irrigation sites, to prevent further desecration of irreplaceable artifacts and burial sites, and to ensure that appropriate consideration and maximum protection (that has NOT been applied) is applied moving forward.

The State of Colorado passed statutes encouraging counties and local government to protect cultural resources with House Colorado Bills 1034 & 1041 that require that cultural resource values be considered. Colorado State legislature in the Colorado Register of Historic Places Act (CRS 24-80) legally recognizes the importance of the states’ cultural heritage and insures that heritage is considered in the application process.

In summary, “Based on very limited test excavations comprised of shovel tests…the density of artifacts (247 recovered), the presence of undisturbed and datable archeological components, and the site’s surprisingly great and still underdetermined depth are characteristics which fulfill the eligibility criteria for inclusion into the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)”  [Project Historian, Dr. Steven F Mehls, November 4th, 1997; Colorado Office of Archeology & Historic Preservation Cultural Resource Survey Management Information Form].

We have a tremendous affinity, support, and collaboration with the Native American community. We are honored to have the Ghost Dance tipi from Standing Rock, ND in Hygiene, CO for educational purposes from the Oglala Lakota since May 2017. We hosted an Eagle blessing ceremony on August 27th, led by Marty Chase Alone, the Great Grandson of Lakota Holy Medicine Man, Nicolas Black Elk of the famous book Black Elk Speaks, 1932. Since then Marty Chase Alone leads monthly ceremonial lodges in Hygiene. We are also blessed by the songs and prayers of award winning Lakota traditional singer, Charlie Red Cloud, the direct descendant of Chief Red Cloud. Most recently, in October we hosted the Shining Mountain Waldorf School’s Fourth Grade class for an educational field trip– as they study Native American History. Up coming, Marty Chase Alone and Charlie Red Cloud spoke at the Shining Mountain Waldorf School’s Thanksgiving assembly on Black Elk’s vision of the Red Road to students, alumni, parents and faculty–  Black Elk Speaks is required reading for SMWS high school students.

As chairperson of SOSVV and as a water-protector and community organizer of the Standing Rock movement, I can attest to the fact that any disturbance of historic Native American sites and graves will not be taken lying down in Boulder County by members of our community and our relatives in Native American communities. There is a precedence in this valley set by Shoshone elder, Julie Lamm, settler Friz Bartley, and others. In 1978 pioneer settlers like Mr.Bartley (propelled by his childhood memory of blood on the snow-covered-ground when government officials marched the Arapohoe people barefooted out of this valley) and Julie Lamm (a Native American activist, elder and advisor of SOSVV) protected the Native American burial ground on the NW corner of Hygiene Road & HWY 36 from Cemex.

In conclusion, in the Evaluation of Research section of the report, the recommendation is clearly stated:

The remaining remnants of archeology for the survey area are both regrettable in their loss since the beginning of historical development in the area and the “’significance’” of what is left remaining intact. As archeological resources become increasingly fewer due to their loss by development, erosion, etc. what remains, becomes even more significant when considering their long term conservation….Additional excavations conducted at prehistoric sites….have the potential to yield buried information significant to providing information regarding, but not limited to, chronological placement, function, and intra-site patterning”. (from Evaluation of Research Pg. 28).

The archeological research index confirming the historical significance and Native American presence in the St Vrain Valley including Jack Moomaw, Alan Peter Olson 1949-1950, Cassells & Farrington (1986), Meir (1987), Nykamp (1984), Scott (1984) and Riggs (1987) each attest to the need for further independent study and perservation of what remains.

It appears that our previous local government and the previous owners of SU 96-18 were not encouraged by the law or compliant with the recommendations made in the mandated studies to protect cultural resources. Fortunately, it’s not 1949, 1998, or 1984, and Boulder County has new stewardship and the power and responsibility to request a formal, unbiased, thorough and proper inventory of Native American and White settler cultural sites be undertaken in the St. Vrain Valley within and near the Martin Marietta area of mining interest and that BCPOS register all recommended historic sites with NRHP in order to protect and conserve prehistoric & historic archeological sites and sacred Native American burial grounds and artifacts for the next seven generations.

Amanda Dumenigo


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