Message #176
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 

Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 17:30:07
Subject: Keystone Dam / Doniphan Wetland

[ AzTeC / SWA SASIG ] :

From: Jeff Kaake  jkaake1@elp.rr.com

Archaeological Site Alert -- Speak Out Against The
Planned Destruction of an Ancient Village Site and
Migratory Bird Wetlands.

With your help, the 100-acre Keystone Dam/Doniphan
Wetland site in El Paso's Upper Valley area can be
saved from proposed commercial/industrial development.

The Keystone Dam site (41EP494), is  listed as a
State Archaeological Landmark and is eligible for
the National Register of Historic Places. It
contains the remnants of a major prehistoric Native
American village dating back at least 4,500 years.
It was considered important enough in the 1980's for
the Army Corps of Engineers to redesign the dam to
preserve the site thus giving it  the  name
"Keystone". It holds an estimated 35-40  pithouses,
ten times the number from other similar sites in
the region. The National Geographic Society has
reviewed preliminary archaeological findings and
has determined that the Keystone Dam cultural site
"ranks as  a highly important discovery" and "may
be the largest and one of the oldest villages of
it's kind in the United States." This discovery
has also raised the interest of the Smithsonian
Institution, the Washington Post, and Time Magazine.

The adjacent Doniphan Wetland is one of the last
remaining natural wetland areas within the El Paso
area. This wetland habitat is characterized by a
native bosque plant and waterfowl community once
common along the Rio Grande River corridor and has
a great ecological, educational, and recreational
potential. A tremendous opportunity exists to
protect this ancient village and endangered wetland.
This site is an important link to the archaeological
past of the Native Americans of the southwestern
United States. The Keystone Dam site, and it's
associated Doniphan Wetland, are a valuable historic,
cultural, and natural resource, and one that deserves
to be preserved for the citizens of El Paso. The
Upper Valley Neighborhood Association is negotiating
to develop a park/museum, with  trails, benches,
picnic tables, an amphitheater,and all the amenities
that would make it a destination for nature and
history buffs, as well as the Tourist or El Pasoan
looking for a relaxing location to spend an
afternoon.

If we don't act now, commercial/industrial
development of the Keystone Dam/Doniphan Wetland
property will soon begin. Please write or call
your local, state, and federal representatives as
soon as possible. We should know the fate of this
important area very soon. 

Please call and/or write to the following
Representatives:

Governor George W. Bush
Senator Robert Bennett
Senator Phil Gramm
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
Rep. Richard Armey
Rep. Nick Lampson
Rep. Chet Edwards
Rep Kay Granger
Rep. Mac Thornberry
Rep. Bill Archer
Rep. Jim Turner
Rep. Silvestre Reyes
Rep. Tom DeLay
Rep. Henry Bonilla
Senator Eliot Shapleigh 
Rep. Joe Pickett
Rep. Paul Moreno
Rep. Norma Chavez
Rep. Pat Haggerty  
The Honorable Mayor Carlos Ramirez 
Jan Sumrall
Presi Ortega
Jesus Terrazas
Luis Sarinara
Stan Roberts
Barbara Perez
Larry Medina                             

P.O. Box 12404, Austin, Texas 78711
Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
P.O. Box 12068, Austin, Texas 78711
P.O. Box 2910, Austin, Texas 78769
Two Civic Center Plaza, El Paso, Texas 79901
City Council, Two Civic Center Plaza, El Paso,
Texas 79901

Example Letter
June, 1998

To:
Dear
I am writing with regard to a very important
historical, cultural, and natural resource -- the
Keystone Dam / Doniphan Wetland site -- located in
El Paso, Texas.

The Keystone Dam site contains the remnants of an
Native American Indian village inhabited from
about 4,500 years ago up to approximately A.D.1,500.
The National Geographic Society has reviewed 
preliminary archaeological findings and has
determined that the Keystone Dam cultural site
"ranks as a highly important discovery" and "may
be the largest and one of the oldest villages of
it's kind in the United States."

The site is listed as a State Archaeological
Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission, and
is eligible for the National Register of Historic
Places.

The adjacent Doniphan Wetland is one of the last
remaining natural wetlands within the vicinity of
El Paso. The wetland is used today by many
threatened and non threatened species of birds on
the Rio Grande migratory flyway. This wetland
habitat is characterized by a native bosque plant
and waterfowl community once common along the Rio
Grande River corridor--and has great ecological,
educational, and recreational value.

As a concerned citizen, I urge you to support the
protection of this ancient village and endangered
wetland. This site is an important link to the
archaeological past of the Native Americans of the
southwestern United States and a valuable historic,
cultural, and natural resource--one that deserves
protection. Without your help, this property will
surely be lost forever.

Sincerely,