About This Website
This website will probably not answer all of your questions if you are a first time PIT project leader, but it will get you started. We recommend you also look at the public PIT website at www.passportintime.com to get an idea of the kinds of varied activities PIT offers. If you have questions or just need moral support, please call the PIT Clearinghouse directly at 505-896-0734. Read on and enjoy!
Welcome to Passport in Time!
The United States Forest Service (USFS) initiated the Passport in Time (PIT) program in 1989 to engage volunteers in the Heritage Program. PIT volunteers work with professional archaeologists on activities including, but not limited to survey, evaluation, monitoring, restoration, documentation, curation, interpretation, and oral history. Any activity for which heritage personnel are responsible could potentially involve PIT volunteers. It is an optional tool to accomplish historic preservation goals.
PIT volunteers learn and have fun (public outreach) while helping us care for historic properties (resource stewardship). The goal of PIT is to preserve the nation's past with the help of the public. Possibly one of the most important outcomes of the program is that volunteers become active, vocal, and knowledgeable advocates for historic preservation. When you host a PIT project, you help create an educated public who understands and supports archaeology and historic preservation on public lands.
A Brief History: How and Why PIT Works
PIT's success is due to its grass-roots origin and ground-up organization. The first PIT project on the Superior National Forest in the USFS Eastern Region was in direct response to public interest in archaeology that quickly became a demand for active involvement. The interest was so high and the demand so great that the first project leaders immediately sought private-sector help for program administration so they, the archaeologists/project leaders could focus on the science, the resource, and the volunteers.
That separation of duties continues today. As a PIT leader, you are 100% responsible for planning and implementing your project. You design it around a research or management need, schedule it for the length of time and the time of year that works best, and determine how many volunteers you need and what skills they should have. Then you go to work preparing while the PIT Clearinghouse does the rest, including posting your project on www.passportintime.com, accepting applications, answering volunteers' questions, sending you materials for your project, and tracking and reporting accomplishments.
The USFS Washington Office supports the PIT Clearinghouse through a participating agreement with the SRI Foundation (SRIF), a non-profit organization whose goal is to "advance education, public outreach, and research in all fields of historic preservation - archaeology, anthropology, history, and historic architecture." By funding the PIT Clearinghouse through a non-profit organization, the USFS with SRIF's help, was able to open PIT up to other agencies and organizations.
The SRI Foundation, based in Rio Rancho New Mexico, provides PIT support services to all agencies and organizations hosting PIT projects. The Clearinghouse is also the first-line contact for the public including potential PIT volunteers, agencies and organizations wishing to host PIT projects, and journalists or other media personnel seeking to cover PIT or include it in various publications.
Funding for the PIT Clearinghouse
The USFS Washington Office funds a partnership agreement with SRI Foundation to provide PIT Clearinghouse service to all USFS PIT projects. Non-USFS agencies or organizations pay a per-project fee determined by the PIT Clearinghouse on an annual basis. The fee is reduced for more than 10 projects and for an annual fee of $50,000, an agency or organization may sponsor up to 50 projects.
Funding for PIT Projects
Funding for individual PIT projects varies with the agency or organization proposing to host the projects. In the USFS, the individual units are responsible for project funding. The PIT Clearinghouse does not offer financial assistance.
Will Reed, Passport in Time National Coordinator
U.S. Forest Service
USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region
324 25th Street
Ogden, UT 84401
Robin Hawks, Preservation Officer
US Department of Interior
Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street NW, Mail Stop 204-LS
Washington DC 20240