Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 2:00 PM
THE UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY AND WATER COMMISSION: GEOARCHEOLOGICAL EXPLORATIONS ALONG THE US / MEXICAN BORDER FROM THE PACIFIC TO THE GULF OF MEXICO
The USIBWC (United States Section, International Boundary and Water Commission) was established in 1848 after the Mexican - American War from the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Water Treaty of 1944 added Water to the title as roles in water management along the border were more defined. The primary duties of the USIBWC are to work with the Mexican Commission (CILA) to oversee issues dealing with the International Boundary in land, water and treaty issues. In the last 10 years as the infrastructure has aged, attention to archeology has been more focused for Cultural Resource Management. Over half of the US / Mexican boundary is the Rio Grande river in Texas with the rest as land and the Colorado River, west to the Pacific Ocean. Our projects in the past year have focused on resource management but also in geoarcheological methods and testing. This presentation will address a history of some of the projects we have been working on. These have been geoarcheological testing at Fort Brown, TX, (1846 – 1945) and at Fort Bliss, TX, (1879 – 1893), Amistad and Falcon Reservoirs on the Rio Grande with Paleoindian sites to Historic Ranchos, and Kirk Bryan’s work on Falcon Reservoir in the 1950’s in geomorphology before the area was flooded. Our final analysis is how sites are being affected by the rivers along the border and the mitigation and research measures we are completing. Our presentation will show that the USIBWC is focusing on Cultural Resource Management in both water and land use planning along the US / Mexican border with an emphasis on the rich history of the Borderlands.