Mission & Goals
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.
To preserve the history of the US Forest Service and to interpret the conservation story, giving due consideration to the roles and partnerships that have enriched the forest and grasslands of the United States, and to present this historical information with integrity.
The NMFSH carries out its mission through its Collections, Archives, Research and Education Services.
About the Capital Campaign
The NMFSH is now building the National Conservation Legacy and Education Center in Missoula. Learn about the architectural and exhibit concept plans and our construction progress.
About the Collection
The NMFSH manages its own collection of more than 20,000 artifacts, records, publications, documents, and memorabilia relating to the history, programs, activities and culture of the Forest Service. Through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Forest Service, the NMFSH also manages the Forest Service Collection, comprised of an additional 20,000 objects.
Be a Lookout for History. Volunteer, make a gift or become an NMFSH member.