The inhabitants of the Plains Woodland period (400A.D.-1100A.D.) left their traces of pottery in open-air as opposed to sheltered sites. Evidence of simple farming exists at several sites. These Indians built brush structures on a base of vertically placed or inward leaning stone slabs, and they used small corner-notched projectile points for hunting. This means that the bow and arrow were now used for hunting and a variety of other things. Woodland pottery most frequently recovered from Baca Woodland sites is cord-marked grit tempered ware.

The Apishipa Indian site houses measured 15-21 feet and were round or oval. Poles were placed vertically on the upper portion in a circular pattern leaning inwards. The spaces between the poles were filled with smaller sticks and brush until a secure structure had been formed. Skins might have served as a final weatherproofing when needed.

As many as three to four of these shelters were found in a group and assuming 4-5 people were in each dwelling then groups of up to 20 probably lived together. Hearths or fire pits are the focus of the sites and were used for warmth and to process both plant and animal foods. Some of the hearths measure up to 19 feet across.

According an the Army survey, done by Mr. Chomko, after having surveyed 4,751 acres on the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site and 2,309 acres on Fort Carson, he documented 269 previously unrecorded archeological sites including 98 properties determined eligible for the National Register. He erected protective fencing on 106 National Register properties on the installation, and tested 19 archeological sites on the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site for National Register eligibility.

In several places at the heads of canyons with streams running through them, as many as 44 tipi rings at a single site are visible. These sites are not particularly productive in terms of artifact finding and it has been deduced that they were used for an Indian groups stay in one locale for a period from 3-4 days to perhaps several weeks. The Apache built the tipis in this area during 1350 A. D. according to a radiocarbon date of charcoal from a ring and documented accounts from early Spanish explorers. Turquoise beads have been found at the tipi ring sites and it is probable that these were obtained in trade with Pueblo groups to the west.

Some of the pottery found at tipi sites were polychrome (multiple color, painted) ware which was identified as San Lazaro Glaze Polychrome pottery made during Pueblo IV times in the Anasazi area. Pueblo IV times was a period spanning four hundred years approximately (1300 A. D. to contact with Europeans). Locally made woodland cord marked pottery turned up at these sites as well. Mica tempered shards from one tipi ring site indicates trade with the Taos/Picuris area to the southwest at a relatively late date (after 1500 A.D.)

The 457 page report from the 2000 New Mexico State University survey shows that Archeologists, searching in the PCMS Black Hills, found 325 sites of former hunting and gathering cultures and recommended 41 for NRHP registration. These sites contained artifacts ranging in age from 8000 to 9000 year-old Paleo-Indian to those left by 300 to 400 year-old Protohistoric Plains Indian tribes.

1997 New Mexico State University 457 page report in (24.3mb PDF) recommending 41 sites to be registered with the National Register of Historic Places

2000 survery by the New Mexico State Universtity synopsis:

387 stone grinding tools (Manos and Metates), for grinding flour from seeds, from 104 sites. Radiocarbon dating covers from 5,500 BCE to 200 CE. 162 Metates from 78 sites, all from 325 previously unrecorded sites involving 15 rock shelters.

Area1. 6,981 hectares with 103 sites, 93 flaked stone scatters from tool making; 6 rock shelters, 5,111 peces of chipped stone, 525 stone tools, 30 sites wtih grinding tools.

Area 2. 8,662 hectares with 55 sites, 5 rock shelters, 2,001 flakes of chipped stone from tool making, 168 stone tools, 71 stone grinding tools in 20 sites.

Area 3. 13,341 hectares with 59 sites, 3 rock shelters, 3 structures, 2,316 stone flakes, 188 stone tools, 23 sites of stone grinding tools, with 75 Manos and Metates.

Area 4. 8,095 hectares with 34 sites with 1 rock shelter, 3 structures, 2,276 flakes from tool making, 79 stone tools, 15 sites of grinding tools with 63 Manos and Metates.

Area 5. 9,014 hectares with 68 sites, 2 rock shelters, 2 structures, 3,801 flakes, 265 stone tools, 69 Manos and Metates on 16 sites.

New Mexico State University study area:

Tiny area of the PCMS that New Mexico State studied and found 325 historical sites:

Fort Lewis survey of 8 sites that found 5 should be registered with the NRHP ( 14.3mb PDF)

Fort Lewis College survey synopsis:

Site1: NRHP recommendation; 120 surface artifacts, inhabited from 3,000 BCE until 1,400 CE

Site 2: 155 surface artifacts, 11 fire rings, "game drive" rock walls (which have been disturbed so military vehicles can pass), test pits found 650 bone fragments, and tools made from Obsidian from North West New Mexico; radiocarbon dating of charcoal dates to inhabitation from 1,065 until 435 BCE. NRHP recommendation.

Site 3: 27 surface artifacts.

Site4: 89 surface and 27 subsurface artifacts.

Site 5: 12 of 21 test pits found artifacts; 50 surface and 57 subsurface in an apparent food processsing site for a village, NRHP recommendation.

Site 6: 2 artifacts and rock fire ring.

Site 7: wagon ruts from the stage coach road from Las Animas to Fort Bent; 18 tools, NRHP recommendation.

Site 8: Homestead of Civil War Veteran Mosby Lee 1860-1890 (later sold to Taylor, hence the name Taylor Arroyo); glass, nails, bullet shells, shotgun shells, belt buckles, cans, lids, hinges, a Civil War military uniform button; 3 structures with 11 walls still standing; 4 test pits dug, thousands of artifacts found; 84 "prehistoric", 66 surface, ad 18 subsurface. NRHP recommendation.

5 of 8 sites surveyed, with an average of 2 days per site, recommended as "significant resource" for the National Register of Historic Places.

Support the nomination of Comanche Grasslands as an endangered place

National Register of Historic Places

DOT Historic Preservation website
How to list a property on the Register of Historic Places

Colorado Historical Society Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation

National trust for Historic Preservation

National Defense Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1991 - Division A: Department of Defense Authorizations - Title I: Procurement - Part A: Funding Authorizations:

Authorizes the Secretary of the Army to transfer to the Secretary of Agriculture certain real property at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, Colorado. Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to administer such lands so as to preserve the paleontological, archaeological, wildlife, vegetative, aquatic, and other natural resources of the area. Outlines other permissible uses for such area, including research activities and livestock grazing. Prohibits such area from being used for the storage or processing of any type of waste. Directs the Secretary to develop a management plan for such area. Authorizes appropriations to the Department of Agriculture.

Applicable Laws:

Historic Sites Act of 1935 (16 USC 461-467)

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 USC 470)

Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974

Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979

Native American Graves Protection And Repatriation Act
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/25/ch32.html or

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Regulations (43 CFR 10) - Final Rule,1994

36 CFR Part 79 - Curation Of Federally-Owned And Administered Archeological Collections.

American Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 USC 431-433)

American Antiquities Act of 1906

16 USC 431-433

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person who shall appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity, situated on lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States, without the permission of the Secretary of the Department of the Government having jurisdiction over the lands on which said antiquities are situated, shall, upon conviction, be fined in a sum of not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for a period of not more than ninety days, or shall suffer both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 2. That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected: Provided, That when such objects are situated upon a tract covered by a bona fied unperfected claim or held in private ownership, the tract, or so much thereof as may be necessary for the proper care and management of the object, may be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to accept the relinquishment of such tracts in behalf of the Government of the United States.

Sec. 3. That permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity upon the lands under their respective jurisdictions may be granted by the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and War to institutions which the may deem properly qualified to conduct such examination, excavation, or gathering, subject to such rules and regulation as they may prescribe: Provided, That the examinations, excavations, and gatherings are undertaken for the benefit of reputable museums, universities, colleges, or other recognized scientific or educational institutions, with a view to increasing the knowledge of such objects, and that the gatherings shall be made for permanent preservation in public museums.

Sec. 4. That the Secretaries of the Departments aforesaid shall make and publish from time to time uniform rules and regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.

Approved, June 8, 1906

Koshare Indian Museum

Whenever the military departments propose to dispose of
real property they no longer require, whether as a result of a
base closure or realignment decision or other process, the
disposal must satisfy the requirements of the National Historic
Preservation Act
[NHPA]. In most cases, the most effective way
to address these requirements and to ensure that historic
properties, including sacred sites and other traditional
cultural properties, will remain protected following transfer
of the property is to record a preservation covenant as part of
the transaction. These preservation covenants thereafter ``run
with the land'' and operate to protect these historic
properties indefinitely despite the fact that the NHPA may no
longer be applicable directly [because the NHPA applies only to
undertakings by the Federal agencies].
The NHPA requires Federal agencies simply to (1)
``consult'' with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation,
State Historic Preservation Office, or Tribal Historic
Preservation office before proceeding with an undertaking that
may affect listed or Register-eligible properties; and (2)
affirmatively take into consideration such potential effects as
part of the decisionmaking process. In this respect, the NHPA--
like NEPA--is merely a procedural statute requiring agencies to
``look before they leap.'' Consequently, the imposition of a
preservation covenant is not, strictly speaking, legally
required. Nonetheless, in most cases when listed or Register-
eligible properties are being transferred out of Federal hands,
the only way the transferring agency can ensure that these
properties remain protected--and work through the section 106
process without provoking an adverse comment from the Council
that must be responded to in writing by the Secretary--is to
impose a preservation covenant.


Feb. 15, 1861
"According to the understanding among themselves, it is hereby agreed between the United States and the said tribes that the said reservation shall be surveyed and divided by a line to be run due north from a point on the northern boundary of New Mexico, fifteen miles west of Purgatory River, and extending to the Sandy Fork of the Arkansas River, which said line shall establish the eastern boundary of that portion of the reservation, to be hereafter occupied by the Cheyennes, and the western boundary of portion of said reservation to be hereafter occupied by the Arapahoes."

Santa Fe Trail Scenic Byway website in opposition to the PCMS expansion;

Across the western United States there are numerous landforms known as Black Hills, or Black Buttes. These tree-covered areas located adjacent to open plains, appear black on the horizon. This setting of open steppes and juxtaposed hills is found along the eastern portion of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS), a U.S. Army training facility in southeastern Colorado.

Archaeologists searching in the PCMS Black Hills found 325 sites of former hunting and gathering cultures. These sites contained artifacts ranging in age from 8000 to 9000 year-old Paleo-Indian remains to those left by 300 to 400 year-old Protohistoric Plains Indian tribes. Archaeologists discovered a pattern to the sites.

Those with projectile points and hide scrapers reflecting hunting activities were found on the west-end, and overlooked the grass-covered steppes. Sites with manos and metates, evidence for plant processing, were found along the northern side where they offered access to edible plant communities. Sites with numerous chipped-stone flakes were located on the east portion, where there is access to natural out-crops of cherts and quartzites.

The numerous sites and long period of use in the Black Hills attest to the popularity of the juniper and pine covered area for hunting and gathering cultures.

Sante Fe Trail (click here for maps)

The history of the 181 miles in Colorado of the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail reads like a saga of the old west. (Click here for historical map of the trail) Native Americans once roamed this land in pursuit of the plentiful wildlife. Trappers of French and American descent took beaver from the many streams in the area. Pioneers like Buffalo Bill Cody and Jedediah Smith traveled extensively throughout the Trail finding adventure at every turn. Miles of wagon ruts are still visible, including where Zebulon Pike first saw the peak given his name.

Evidence of Spanish occupation of the canyon is common. Remnants of an early 20th century church and cemetery with hand carved headstones are still intact; the old ranch house and outbuildings are restorable.

The Dolores Mission and Cemetary was built sometime between 1871 and 1889 when Mexican pioneers first began permanent settlements in the valley. Partial remains of the mission and cemetary are still visible.

According to legend, a group of Spanish treasure seeking soldiers died in the canyons without benefit of clergy. Thus, in the sixteenth century the river was named El Rio de Las Animas Perdidas en Purgatorio (the River of Souls Lost in Purgatory). Later, French trappers shortened the name to "the Purgatoire". Early Anglo travelers on the Santa Fe Trail could not pronounce "Purgatoire" and hence further corrupted the name into "Picket Wire".

In the 19th century, Hispanic and European settlers homesteaded in Picketwire Canyonlands. Guides will take you to an early Catholic Church and cemetery, which was built on land donated by Damacio Lopez. You will also visit Rourke Ranch, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and learn how pioneer Eugene Rourke's ranch grew from a 160-acre homestead in the late 1800s to an over 50,000-acre cattle empire still owned by the Rourke family into the 1970s.

Forest Service history 1994

Wagon train photo from 1880

16 wagons head out from Las Animas

Near the New Mexico border

Comanche National Grasslands

Hisorical map of Old Bent's Fort

Picture Canyon in Comanche National Grasslands

Trails website on the Comanche National Grasslands

Forest Guardians site on Comanche National Grasslands

Map, directions to blind to see Lesser Prairie Chicken lek (mating and nesting area)

From section1, chapter 8 of the report on existing heritage resources:

At the end of 2003, approximately 15% of the Cimarron National Grassland (Cimarron) and 14% of the Comanche National Grassland (Comanche) have received Class II (reconnaissance type) and III (intensive) level inventory for heritage resources. Roughly 11% of the Comanche and 13% of the Cimarron have been surveyed intensively (Class III) and inventoried for heritage resources according to the standards specified by the Colorado State Historic Preservation Officer in 1986 and the Kansas State Historic Preservation Officer in 1985. These inventories identified and recorded, some 1490 heritage resources on the Cimarron (n=210) and Comanche (n=1280) that may document about 10,000 years of human history. The sizes of the individual resources (sites) range from about five square meters to over 63 acres for point resources, although the mean size is less than three acres. Linear resources (trails, railroad grades and roads) range from under 0.1 mile to nearly 20 miles.

410 properties are considered significant and eligible to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) by Forest Service staff and/or the State Historic Preservation Offices in Colorado and Kansas. NRHP eligible sites frequently contain dense artifact scatters, features, rockshelters and/or rock art. Usually, they are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our past and has yielded or may be likely to yield information important in prehistory or history. Some 562 heritage resources need additional information before their NRHP eligibility status can be adequately evaluated. Heritage staff on the Grasslands maintain a list of “Priority Heritage Assets” which includes properties listed on the NRHP and State Historic Register or considered by Forest Service staff to be particularly significant to understanding past lifeways on the Grasslands.