For decades, Texas landowners have worked with the Texas Historical Commission (THC) to preserve important sites all over the state. Because of these efforts, historic places, from frontier forts to Ice Age hunting camps, have been studied and preserved. Thanks to the Robert E. and Evelyn McKee Foundation of El Paso, the Texas Historical Commission can present landowners with a special form of recognition - the Historic Texas Lands Plaque. Cast in aluminum and a foot in diameter, these plaques are displayed with pride by participating Historic Texas Lands landowners on ranch gates or other visible places on their property.
Of all Texas archeological sites are on private land
How to Apply for the Historic Texas Lands Plaque
A landowner who has completed at least one of the following can be acknowledged as a Historic Texas Landowner.
- Transferred ownership (via donation or sale) of an archeological site to the THC, another state agency or a suitable nonprofit organization such as a land trust. The transfer must have been for the purpose of permanent preservation of a site.
- Sold or donated a permanent conservation easement (i.e., not a term easement) to the THC, another state agency or a nonprofit land trust. This easement must provide for permanent conservation of one or more significant archeological sites.
- Designated one or more State Archeological Landmarks by completing the following steps: nomination, receiving the designation, and filing it with the appropriate county office.
- Allowed substantial and significant archeological research on his or her property. "Substantial and significant archeological research" means survey, testing, or major excavation by responsible and qualified professional or avocational archeologists. The research must contribute significantly to our knowledge of Texas archeology or directly lead to permanent preservation of one or more significant sites. The results of that research must be published, OR all materials resulting from that research — including all artifacts, notes, records, etc. — must be curated at an approved state repository.
To begin the application process, complete the Historic Texas Lands Nomination Form.
To learn more about this program, read the Historic Texas Lands Plaque brochure. If you have a question about the program, contact the Archeology Division by email or by phone at 512-463-609. Letters can be sent to:
Archeology Division, Texas Historical Commission
P.O. Box 12276
Austin, TX 78711-2276