Last year I was introduced to the Forest Service volunteer program called Passport in Time. In late September, Guitar and I spent 5 days helping in an archaeological survey of very primitive country in Southeast Colorado. I had a blast! Read about that trip here. After that experience I was determined to do more of that sort of thing this year.
The Forest Service announces on the site linked above, projects that are open to volunteers and if you are interested you can apply to participate online. Most of the projects call for 5-10 volunteers. So far this year I have volunteered for 10 different projects and so far I have been notified that I was not picked on three of the projects I applied for. One of the Forest Service employees I spoke to told me that these projects have suddenly become very popular. So popular in fact that most projects are getting 50-60 applications for 5-10 openings! What I thought would be a relatively sure thing all of a sudden became much more tenuous.
Yesterday I broke my losing streak and was notified that I had been accepted for a project in late June. Yahoooooo! I am really excited. This will be another archaeological survey in an area that they already know was heavily used by both prehistoric and historic people. The official notice of the project explains it way better than I could so here it is.
Pole Gulch, Buffalo Peaks
June 22-26, 2009
Must commit to full session
Pole Gulch is nestled above Pole Creek in the east foothills of Buffalo Peaks in central Colorado. From previous investigations, we know the regional area contains a high density of significant prehistoric and historic sites and artifacts. These sites may represent a range of 7000 B.C. to A.D. 1870. PIT volunteers will assist Forest Service staff with a continuing systematic survey of the Pole Gulch area to establish record of its historic and prehistoric archaeological resources. We expect to find numerous prehistoric camp sites containing flaked and ground stone tools, and may even find evidence of once culturally sacred trees. Ultimately, this work will help us to prepare a National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) district nomination.
There is no doubt that volunteers will enjoy the project's scenery. Pole Creek is located at an elevation of 9,500 ft. with rolling terrain and moderate slopes. The area is an ideal location to enjoy nature, wildflowers, and the Colorado High Country in early summer. We encourage experienced archeological surveyors as well as interested neophytes to apply. We will have a group "ice breaker" dinner on Sunday June 21, 2009, and there will be many other fun diversions during the week.
Number of openings: 8
Special skills: Previous experience with archaeological survey and/or prehistoric and historic artifact identification helpful, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: The FS will provide several camping spaces at Buffalo Springs Campground to be shared by project participants; pit/chemical toilets, water; volunteers responsible for personal camping equipment and food; Fairplay and Buena Vista are full-service communities with hotels/motels, restaurants, and a full range of other amenities; FS will provide transportation to the project area from Fairplay and Buffalo Springs Campground
Nearest towns: Fairplay, 15 miles; Buena Vista, 23 miles; Breckenridge, 38 miles
Hurry up June!!!!
Thanks for visiting.