Cultural Heritage Stewardship

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Volunteers recording a rock art site



In the Spotlight

Preserve America Logo    Preserve America Stewards                      

The Preserve America Stewards program recognizes programs at the state, tribal, local, or regional level that have demonstrated a successful use of volunteer time and commitment in order to help care for our cultural heritage. It is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. To be designated, applicants must demonstrate that their programs:  (1) Encourage individuals, families, non-governmental organizations, and businesses to get involved in preserving and promoting our heritage in a direct and tangible way; (2) Fill a significant need in heritage preservation and education through the use of volunteers of all backgrounds, levels of commitment, and abilities; and (3) Demonstrate innovative and creative use of volunteer assistance in areas such as youth involvement, volunteer training, public education, and public/private partnerships.

Eleven Preserve America Stewards were officially designated and recognized for their exemplary volunteer efforts to care for historic resources around the country in mid-January 2009.  The three programs featured below play a significant role in providing stewardship on BLM's public lands.


New Mexico SiteWatch
Site Stewardship Program

New Mexico SiteWatch, a statewide volunteer program, coordinates the efforts of citizens to serve as stewards and educational docents for cultural resource –particularly archaeological sites. The program is administered by the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Office and is organized as a series of local affiliated chapters.  More >>

SiteWatch Stewards at Work

San Juan Mountains Association
Southwest Colorado Cultural Site Steward Program

The San Juan Mountains Association is a non-profit partner of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, and the Association’s Southwest Colorado Cultural Site Stewardship Program (CSSP) provides essential “eyes and ears” through volunteer monitoring of federally-owned archaeological sites. A new CSSP initiative is the Family Stewards Project, that trains youths and their parents in archaeological site stewardship.  More>>

  Cultural Site Stewards document a site

United States Forest Service
Passport in Time Program

Volunteers in the U.S. Forest Service’s Passport in Time (PIT) Program work in national forests on historic preservation projects such as archaeological excavation and survey, historic structure restoration, and analysis and curation of artifacts. Since the program’s inception in 1989, more than 29,000 volunteers have contributed time valued at over $21 million. Other federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, have also started to partner with PIT to further increase volunteer opportunities.      More >>

  Site excavation during a PIT project


Become a "Site Steward"

The Site Steward Program is an organization of volunteers, sponsored by public land managers, who report destruction or vandalism of archaeoligcak and paleontological sites, and are also active in public education and outreach activities. Learn More>>>

Join An Avocational Group

If you want to get involved with archaeolgoy, history, or paleontology, why not hook up with an organization of people who share your interests?  There are many national and state enthusiast organizations that are perfect for the individual who would like to learn about one or more of these fields of study.  Learn More>>>

Join Our Heritage Volunteers

Each year, BLM volunteers donate more than 1.5 milion hours of their time, much of it with our Cultural Resources program.  You can search and apply for volunteer opportunities with BLM and other Federal agencies at , and interagency volunteer recruitment website.  Also visit BLM's Volunteer Program homepage to read about the many ways in which our volunteers are making a difference!

Backyard Conservation

Safeguard the heritage resources on you own property.  Traces of the past should be preserved wherever they appear, not just on Federal lands.  Learn More>>>

Passport In Time

Passport in Time (PIT) is a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program of the USDA Forest Service.  Volunteers work with professional archaeologists and historians on projects including archaeological excavation, rock art restoration, surveys, archival reserach, historic structure restoration, gathering of oral histories, and writing interpretive brochures.   Learn More>>>

National Public Lands Day

The nation's premier volunteer workday on behald of the public lands, National Public Lands Day is held in September of each year.  Hands-on work projects are located in every state, with many involving inventory and/or stabilization of archaeological and historic sites.  For information and project details, visit BLM's Volunteer Program and the official National Public Lands Day website administered by the National Environmental Education & Trainging Foundation.