National Conservation Legacy Center

Creating a state-of-the-art showcase to tell America’s conservation story

The National Conservation Legacy Center will be a world class museum. We will feature state of the art participatory and immersion exhibitory.

Participatory museums work with constituents and visitors to make cultural institutions more dynamic, relevant, and essential places. The goal of participatory exhibitory is both to meet visitors’ expectations for active engagement and to do so in a way that furthers the mission and core values of the Museum.

Immersion exhibits create a multi-sensory experience which pulls visitors out of the passive, one-dimensional museum viewing ritual and transport them to a different time, place or situation where they become active participants in what they encounter.

Since 1905, the U.S. Forest Service has been making history as America’s first conservation agency. However, over the course of its 100+ year history, there has never been one central location where the people can learn and enjoy this history.

There is no central repository where artifacts could be preserved, researched and displayed. There has not been one central exhibition hall where the stories and lessons could be shared with the public, where the leaders, partners, and people whose stories are our history could be recognized and shared.

Conservation of the forests and grasslands of the United States forms an unparalleled heritage for the American people and the world. It’s a story about the dedicated people who created much more than a government agency, they fostered new ways of thinking about our country’s resources and the stewardship of public lands. It’s time to preserve and share this story of national accomplishment- America’s Conservation Legacy.

The National Conservation Legacy Center will provide a world class, one of a kind facility for all to learn and enjoy this rich and uniquely American conservation history.

Leave a Lasting Legacy


FURTHER OUR MISSION BY PLEDGING YOUR SUPPORT TO THE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to name the physical spaces within the new National Conservation Legacy and Education Center.

These naming opportunities are offered in grateful recognition of leadership gifts from the Museum’s most generous supporters. There are several opportunities to honor your family or business name, honor or memorialize an individual, or to associate your foundation, corporation, or partnership with the history of America’s Conservation Legacy.

Additional exhibit sponsorships opportunities are also available.

The Center

This incredibly diverse space is uniquely suited to our mission to Share the Rich History and Stories of America’s Conservation Legacy. Our interactive, world class exhibits will inspire visitors to explore America’s conservation history through hands-on learning experiences. A tremendous opportunity for your name to be attached to the Center which will be a prominent landmark in the community.

Total Opportunities: 1
Required Contribution: $5,000,000

Grand Lobby

Tall timbers tell stories in the Grand Lobby with wood timbers featured from across the nation. The lobby’s construction will use 24 different wood species for support posts. Visitors will learn how these different tree species played a role in the development of the Unites States.

Total Opportunities: 1
Required Contribution: $2,000,000

Entrance Plaza

One seldom forgets their first impression of a place and this is where we’ll begin to shape that image for visitors to our Center. Large enough to serve as a staging area for arriving school and other groups, this space
not only welcomes but also invites the curious visitor to see what lies beyond.

Total Opportunities: 1
Required Contribution: $1,000,000

Main Exhibit Gallery

The Main Exhibit Gallery is the heart of the visitor experience. The Gallery will feature world class interactive and participatory exhibits. Exhibits will honor, educate and inspire our audience and will be exchanged
regularly to maintain relevancy and interest.

Total Opportunities: 1
Required Contribution: $1,000,000

Collections Repository

The Center will provide a permanent, state-of-the-art repository to safely house our permanent collection of artifacts, including documents, photographs, objects and art works.

Total Opportunities: 1
Required Contribution: $500,000

Conservation Learning Lab

This multi-purpose room located on the lower level of the Center will serve primarily as a room to inspire learning, featuring state-of-the-art technology and teaching tools. This space will also serve as a meeting room.

Total Opportunities: 1
Required Contribution: $500,000

Reflections Walkway

This beautifully landscaped, tree lined walkway will honor the contributions of individuals who have made a difference by contributing to America’s Conservation Legacy. Located next to the Conservation Legacy and Education Center, the Reflections Walkway will also allow for processions to honor events and individuals.

Total Opportunities: 1
Required Contribution: $500,000

Research Library & Special Collections

The Library will support the work of the Museum’s staff, scholars and researchers from around the world, as well as interested members of the general public. The Library’s holdings are comprised of a research collection, special collections, and digital collections.

Total Opportunities: 1
Required Contribution: $250,000

Oral History Collection & Interview Room

This room is dedicated to collecting oral history interviews for the Museum’s collection. This room will feature leading edge video and audio recording technology for the production of the highest possible quality interviews.

Total Opportunities: 1
Required Contribution: $100,000

Gold LEED Certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is designed to reduce negative environmental impacts and increase cost savings through efficient energy and water use. Underwriting the costs to gain Gold LEED Certification for the Center will provide energy and cost savings to the Center in perpetuity.

Total Opportunities:1
Required Contribution: $100,000

Endowed Executive Positions

Named Endowment Funds in support of key staff positions will ensure we continue to attract and retain the best leadership and talent in the history museum field. Named, endowed position funds are invested in perpetuity. The Museum will dedicate the fund earnings to support the work associated with the positions.

Total Opportunities: 4
Required Contribution: $100,000

Forest Discovery Trail

The Forest Discovery Trail offers interactive outdoor learning experiences focusing on America’s conservation history. Self guided tours and educational activities for individuals, classes and families are offered free of charge.

Total Opportunities: 1
Required Contribution: $25,000

We’ll be happy to discuss these and other customized naming designations.
For more information, please contact our office at 406.541.6374

Green Building Design


The Center will be an exhibit in and of itself, demonstrating the use of innovative wood products and showcasing the role of the Forest Service in their research and development. A theme of “Bringing the Past Forward” will guide a visitor journey through historic building techniques, such as hand-crafted timber framing to today’s CLT automation. The design will be appropriate to the landscape and will anchor a site masterplan design. We will create a showcase for sustainable green building for a better world: Leading by example

The green building design of the Center will showcase the Forest Service’s contributions to renewable resource conservation and education and will be a model green building for the Missoula community, the state of Montana, and the nation.

The Missoula Campus


While we work on our goal to build the National Conservation Legacy & Education Center, you can explore these locations on our Missoula, MT campus.

Nearby Attractions

The NMFSH’s neighbors are the Missoula International Airport, the Smokejumper Visitor Center, USFS Fire Sciences Laboratory, and Museum of Mountain Flying. Please be sure to visit them when you make plans to explore the National Conservation Legacy & Education Center!

You Can Help!


The NMFSH has prepared the National Conservation Legacy & Education Center site for construction, developed the architectural plans, and envisioned the exhibits and programs. Now it’s time to build. We estimate about $10.6 million is needed to construct the National Conservation Legacy and Education Center and create the exhibits and theater presentations.
  • Fundraising Goal 80% 80%

Goal: $11 million

Goal: $11 million
Raised: $8.8 million

Raised: $8.8 million

With new matching grant opportunities, every dollar donated can attract $3 in public support, $2 in foundation grants and $1 in corporate contributions. That’s $6 for every $1 you contribute. Your support can make a big difference! Help us build the NCLE Center and preserve the Forest Service legacy.

Thanks to Our Funding Partners


Aero Tech, Inc.
Air Tractor
Estate of Richard B. Anderson
Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund
Beaudette Consulting Engineers, Inc.
Bell Helicopter
Ben Meadows Company
Bibb Engineers Architects & Constructors
Big Sky Mobile Catering
Bitterroot Trails, LLC
Boone and Crockett Club
Buck Knives
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation
CBP Port of Roosville
Coeur d’Alene Mines Corporation
Devon Energy Corporation
DJ&A, P.C. Consulting Engineers
Eastern Forest Service Retiree Association
Emerald Chapter SAF
The Charles Engelhard Foundation
ESRI
Firewise 2000, Inc.
Forest History Society
Forest Service Reunion 2009 & 2012
Forest Stewardship Concepts
Forestry Suppliers, Inc.
Friends of Smokey Bear Balloon
Great Northern Midstream
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Kiewit Power Engineers
Lambda Bioremediation Systems
Los Compadres Retirees Group
Martin J. Lauridson Jr. Trust
Minuteman Aviation Inc.
Mt. Hood Meadows, Oreg., Ltd
National Ski Areas Association
National Smokejumper Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
Northern Rocky Mountain Retirees Association
N.P.I., Inc.
The Ohrstrom Family
George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Foundation
Oregon Society of American Foresters
OZ Architects
Pacific Northwest Forest Service Association “OldSmokeys”
Pacific Southwest FSX Club
The Pack Shack, Inc
Perkins Coie Charitable Foundation
Phos-Chek
Rainier Seeds, Inc.
Raley’s Forestry & Wildfire Management
Robwen, Inc.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Rocky Mountain Forest Service Reunion Association
Royal Gold, Inc.
Safe Fire Program, Inc.
Sentinal Orchards
Sierra Pacific Airlines, Inc.
Ski Apache
Snowbird Corporation
Snowbird Renaissance Center
Southern Forest Service Retirees Association
Stillwater Mining Company
Max & Betty Swanson Foundation
Union Pacific Foundation
US Forest Service
Waterous Company
Western Heritage Company
Whitefish Mountain Resort
Wildfire Environmental, USA, Inc.
Wildfire Group
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