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USDA National Forest Service

Passport in Time (PIT) is a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program of the USDA Forest Service (FS). PIT volunteers work with professional FS archaeologists and historians on national forests throughout the U.S. on such diverse activities as archaeological survey and excavation, rock art restoration, archival research, historic structure restoration, oral history gathering, and analysis and curation of artifacts. The FS professional staff of archaeologists and historians will be your hosts, guides, and co-workers.

Over the years, volunteers have helped us stabilize ancient cliff dwellings in New Mexico, excavate a 10,000-year-old village site in Minnesota, restore a historic lookout tower in Oregon, clean vandalized rock art in Colorado, survey for sites in a rugged Montana wilderness, and excavate a 19th-century Chinese mining site in Hell’s Canyon in Idaho.

New PIT volunteers receive a "Passport" and a PIT Passport number. Each time a volunteer visits a project, the project leader stamps the volunteer’s passport and documents their hours. Volunteers for multiple projects can fill up their passports with stamps from projects all over the country!

Many involve backcountry camping where you are responsible for your own food and gear. Others include meals prepared by a "camp cook," often for a small fee. Still others provide hookups for RVs, or volunteers may stay at local hotels and travel to the site each day. The projects vary in length from two days to two weeks or longer. Please note: several publications have been introduced on the market that portray PIT as a "free vacation" program. If you have been directed to this site by one of these publications, please be aware that we have been misrepresented. While there is no fee to participate, you must get yourself to the project, and accommodations and amenities may vary. No project provides travel, per diem, or monetary allotments for lodging and associated expenses.

To find out what projects are available, click here or on “Current Projects” in the menu above. For those who do not have email or internet access, the Clearinghouse can send printed project listings, upon request.

The goal of PIT is to preserve the nation’s past with the help of the public. As a PIT volunteer, you contribute to vital environmental and historical research on public lands. Your participation helps us understand the human story in North America, and preserve the sites and memories that chronicle that story for our children and grandchildren. We cannot do it without you!

Will Reed

PIT Interim National Coordinator USDA Forest Service

Special message: To discourage email spam, all email addresses on this webpage are graphics, not links. You will have to type the respective email address(es) into your address bar. Please also note that, per federal regulations, Passport in Time does not participate in online social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.