“There has never been one central repository where artifacts could be stored, preserved and displayed.”
Over the course of the Forest Service’s first century, there has never been one central repository where artifacts could be stored, preserved and displayed. There has not been one central exhibition hall where the stories and lessons could be shared with the public. And there has not been one central monument where the leaders, partners, and people whose stories are our history could be recognized and honored.
In 2009, the National Museum of Forest Service History board announced plans to build the National Conservation Legacy and Education Center in Missoula, Montana. The NMFSH, a national nonprofit organization founded in 1988, is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the entire national history of the USDA Forest Service for the education and enjoyment of the general public, scholars, and historical researchers. At the Center, the NMFSH will carry out its mission and pursue its vision for national conservation education, historical preservation and remembrance of the significant deeds and people associated with the Forest Service. As a showcase for collections totaling more than 40,000 objects, photographs, documents, books and reports, the Center will encourage visitors to explore the cultural, ecological, economic, political, and social history of the lands and people that have defined the nation and given meaning to the term conservation.