About Our Collection
Over 55,000 historical artifacts
The Museum manages a collection of over 55,000 objects, photographs, documents, books and research reports. The Museum collection is available online and to researchers upon request.
Discover the role of the 10th Mountain Division in the development of the nation’s alpine ski areas, study the connection between Smokejumpers and World War II paratroopers. Learn about the giants of conservation like Roosevelt and Pinchot, or get a slice-of-life story from rangers leading a mule train.
The National Conservation Legacy and Education Center will be defined by the interwoven story of resource management and human history it tells. Our collection provides the physical connection to this history.
Glimpse the Rich History of the Forest Service
Slice of Life
Alongside recollections from the first Forest Service Chief, Gifford Pinchot, researchers can find programs from Christmas parties and social events of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and collections of poetry written by rangers. The experiences of two ranger’s wives, Etta Groom and Dorothy Guck, are included here as well. Spouses filled necessary roles within the Forest Service community, serving as schoolteachers and nurses, calling in fires from lookout towers, and manning the lines of communication while their husbands were in the field.
Lapel pins, tie tacks, belt buckles, patches, and badges document the evolution of uniforms over the last century, and reflect the fashion of the times. Foresters required outerwear to match their varied terrains – from snowy mountaintops to desert wilderness. The collection includes ski equipment, logger boots, hard hats, caps, backpacks, canteens, packboards, and knives.
Items include a 1955 film with Eddy Arnold singing “The Ballad of Smokey Bear” and Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl themed toys, games, and dishes. Photos, books, manuscripts and costumes from the 1964 to 1970 seasons of Lassie also document the connection between the Forest Service and popular culture at the time.
There are 175 signs from features such as entrances and fire lookouts, reflecting local character and craftsmanship. These enamel, porcelain and wooden signs demonstrate the evolution of iconography and the changing names of the geographic holdings under Forest Service management.
A 1960’s era Tucker Sno-Cat decommissioned from Lolo National Forest resides in our collection. This heavy machinery represents the many technologies developed by the Forest Service to complete a specific task, then provided to private industry for further development and distribution. Under the direction of Forest Service Equipment engineer Ted Flynn, the original Sno-Motor was developed in 1939 for the chairlift construction at Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood National Forest. The Forest Service eventually sold the design to Tucker Sno-Cats of Medford, Oregon.
Our collection includes a 1951 Green Hornet Ford fire engine originally used by the Forest Service (housed on the San Bernardino National Forest), a historic 1938 Kenworth stock truck (first used at the Ninemile Remount Station in Lolo National Forest), and a 1920’s era horse drawn wagon (likely a surplus Army escort wagon supplied to the Forest Service after World War I, it was acquired on permanent loan from Lolo National Forest).
Now Available Online!
Now Available Online!
Thanks to Our Collection Partners
131 photographs of the 1940 and 1941 Missoula Smokejumper program; Smokejumper Log; and Interview.
Ben and Lois Beall Collection
535 Smokey Bear Objects including stuffed toys; Lionel toy train, Posters; Stamps; Books; Dolls, and Sport Cards.
Denton D. Bungarz Collection
Plane panel and door “N” number panel from Air Tanker #1. Retardant door from one of the original aircraft from the Air Tanker Squadron.
George Chaffee Collection
Range management information including survey forms, maps, memos and photographs.
Jay H. Craven Collection
Photographs related to Forest Service involvement in the USAID forestry project in South Vietnam from 1967 to 1975.
860 photographic slides of Gifford Pinchot, Mount Hood, Rogue, Okanogan, Siuslaw, Wallows – Whitman, Mount Baker, Ochoco, Fremont, and Deschutes National Forests and wild flowers.
Leigh B. Lint Collection
76 Photos and 58 Survey instruments and equipment used in the 1930s to prepare the first topographical maps of National Forests in California.
John Marker Collection
72 photos and 80 archival papers on Forest Service History and Fire Management and 1920s-1930s Allegheny National Forest Photographs.
Donald W. Nelson Collection
Close to 800 hundred Forest Service photographs taken by D.W. Nelson.
Northern Rocky Mountain Retirees Association
Oral history tapes and manuscripts.
Fire Lab archives, photographs and objects.
Forest History Society
Forest Service Organizational directories from 1961-1994.
CPS Smokejumpers, World War II
Gregg Phifer and Lester Gahler Collections
327 photographs newspaper clippings, envelopes, log book, and periodicals.
Grey Towers National Historical Landmark Collection
Lantern slides dating from 1919 to 1930.
Charles E. Hardy Collection
Fire behavior information.
Intermountain Fire Sciences Laboratory Collection
Fire behavior research artifacts.
32 books on the history of the Forest Service.
Lester Robinson Collection
1930s photographs from the St. Regis Ranger District.
Edwin F. Smith Collection
26 Photographs, diaries, correspondence, clippings regarding the early history of El Dorado National Forest in California.
Robert Spivey Collection
Extensive Forest Service lapel pins and button collection.
Charles A. Wellner Collection
81 photographs and 135 archival documents including 1913 Use Book; National Forest Manuals 1911-1913; Papers and maps collected at the Priest River Experimental Forest and other locations.
24 objects and books used everyday by rangers in the forest.
Rolf Jorgensen Collection
212 books, archives and photographs.
1927 to 1933 Blister Rust Camp and CCC photographs.
William C. Wood Collection
1944 smoke jumper photographs.