Smith River Float 2015 - Passport in Time

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Montana - Lewis and Clark NF
Closed!  Smith River Heritage Float: Site Monitoring & Archaeological Survey

July 13-17, 2015

Must commit to entire session

Join us this summer for an archaeological and river float adventure in the back woods of Central Montana! During this exciting and unique project, PIT volunteers and Forest and State Park staff will participate in a five-day, 59-mile float trip down the Smith River, situated between the Little Belt and Big Belt Mountains, southeast of Great Falls. Elevations along our route will range between 3,000-4,000 feet (asl), and you will see some spectacular scenery!
We will be surveying and monitoring sites within Smith River State Park (, which is managed by Montana State Parks in conjunction with the US Forest Service. The Park is renowned for its rich cultural history, manifest in the form of prehistoric rock art and unique archaeology, and is also well-known for its outstanding recreational opportunities! Participants will conduct archaeological surveys, record archaeological sites, update site and monitoring forms, and perform limited site (shovel) testing. Instruction will be provided in each of these techniques.

The group will meet initially at the Lewis & Clark National Forest Supervisor's Office in Great Falls on Sunday, 12 July, at 7:00 p.m. local time, and carpool that evening in FS vehicles to Camp Baker where the group will camp for the night. On Friday, 17 July, the group will disembark at Eden Bridge and carpool back to Great Falls by early evening, where they will depart for home or for local accommodations. Waivers will need to be signed in order to ride in FS vehicles.

We will be "roughing it" during the float, though: only primitive camping is available at designated boat camps the entire week - only those comforts the wilderness can provide! However, while this promises to be some tough, sweaty, and dirty work at points, participants will come away with some brand new or, at least, newly-honed skills, and will be working in some picturesque and breath-taking country! So, bring your work ethic, your eagerness to learn, and your desire to get "back to nature," and join us in July for a "float into the past!"

Number of openings: 5*

Special skills: *We will be screening for one (1) applicant to fill a rower position - this volunteer must have previous experience rowing rafts on rivers, and must be physically capable of rowing multiple (6-10) miles per day - for five days straight - in a variety of weather conditions; all other applicant openings are for non-rower positions; there are no public services for the entire 59 miles, so participants must be self-sufficient and equipped to handle the journey; all participants will be expected to wear life jackets at all times while floating in the rafts
All applicants must have experience with primitive, leave-no-trace camping, and must be physically capable of hiking for long periods each day over rough terrain and in a variety of weather conditions; previous archaeological survey, mapping, artifact identification, sketching, GPS, and/or photography experience helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 18 years old

Facilities: Camp Baker is the put-in point for the float trip; no potable water or trash dumpsters; Eden Bridge is the take-out point; dumpsters, but no potable water; no public services available during the float trip; pit toilets (latrines) available at each, designated boat pull-in camp; volunteers responsible for personal camping and water filtration equipment, and transportation to the initial meeting area in Great Falls; volunteers will be responsible for own breakfasts and lunches, but food for dinners and cooking equipment will be provided by the Agency; FS asks that each volunteer bring up to $100 (cash) to reimburse Agency for groceries for the week; please indicate on your application if you have any special dietary preferences or requirements

Nearest towns: Project based in Great Falls

Applications due: June 8, 2015
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