The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 392
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
operated as historical sites by the National Park Service.68 The other three
were Missions Concepci6n, San Jose and Espada. The former San
Antonio de Valero Mission, the chapel of which is now called "The
Alamo," is administered by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
With support from Congress, the National Park Service conducted an
environmental assessment of the four mission properties in 1981. Two
years later, all four sites were placed on the National Register of Historic
Places. In addition, a five-mile stretch of the Espada acequia system, its
dam, and aqueduct from the Spanish provincial period, were designated
as national historic landmarks. As to the condition of the San Juan
Acequia, the NPS study reported that this particular ditch was in "a state
of disrepair, littered with vegetation, garbage, and earth fill from nearby
construction activity."''69 Eager to help with the restoration of the mission
labores and to revive the traditional land uses, the National Park Service
office in San Antonio launched a campaign to assist the San Juan
Acequia landowners and the San Antonio River Authority in reopening
the acequia. To this end the superintendent of the Missions National
Historical Park entered into an agreement in June 1982 with the San
Juan Ditch Water Supply Corporation to grant the NPS easement access
to the full length of the acequia in order to develop interpretative pro-
grams for the public. In addition, the NPS agreed to be responsible for
cleanup and continued maintenance to ensure the acequia's capacity to
carry water. For their side of the agreement the shareholders of the
water supply corporation pledged that they would continue to preserve
the integrity of the ditch and refrain from constructing new structures
or other development that would "alter or destroy the quality of the his-
toric and natural environment of the Acequia, or which detract from its
primitive and pastoral setting."70
With the easement agreement in hand the San Antonio office of NPS
began to gather information for the development of more concrete
plans on how best to interpret the San Juan Mission, the labores, and the
acequia irrigation system. The vision from the outset was that each of
the four mission sites would contribute an interpretive theme stemming
from its own place in the history of the missions. A master plan was pre-
pared in July 1982 and submitted to Congress as the General Management
" Public Law 95-629, Nov. 10, 1978, An Act to Amend the Pennsylvania Avenue Development
Corporation Act of 1972; to Provide for the Establishment of the San Antonio Missions National Hstoncal
Park; and for Other Purposes (92 Stat. 3635).
' National Park Service, Environmental Assessment- General Management Plan/Development Concept
Plan (Santa Fe: Southwest Regional Office, Oct. 1981), 13, 36.
70 "Easement From San Juan Ditch Water Supply Corporation To United States of America,"
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, June 17, 1982, Office of the Superintendent
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/460/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.