Join the National Museum of Forest Service History in our mission.

The National Museum of Forest Service History is a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting and preserving the history of the U.S. Forest Service.


The Jim Girard: The Man Who Knew Trees virtual exhibit.

Jim Girard worked with trees his whole life – from his youth making whiskey barrels in the hills of Tennessee, to his esteemed position as Chief of Forest Surveys in Washington D.C. He wrote the book on timber cruising and became a legend in the U.S. Forest Service.

With this virtual exhibit, learn about the life of Jim Girard and how he changed the way we manage our national forests.

A Forest Service sale administrator stands beside a western larch stump and butt, during the Big Blackfoot Timber Sale in 1908. (Photo by W.J. Lubken)

What people are saying.

“The Forest Service is proud of our rich history and we are eager to share this with the public. The lessons we have learned since our inception will help our nation tackle current and future challenges such as climate change, land restoration, and water conservation…I encourage the efforts to establish a conservation and education center that preserves the history of the Forest Service and interprets its contributions to our nation’s conservation legacy.”

– Tom Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service

About our collection.

A smokejumper gathers his chute after landing in Seeley Lake, Mont., c. 1940. The smokejumper program started in 1939 as a way to reduce the time it took for crews to reach wildland fires.
Zeiss Ikon Orix Folding Camera, c. 1930. Photographs were important in the early days of the Forest Service. Pictures were used to communicate with the public. The Onix Model 308/1 was marketed in catalogs from 1926-1934.

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.


The National Conservation Legacy and Education Center will showcase the history of the Forest Service.

Preparation for the construction of the National Conservation Legacy and Education Center is underway in Missoula, Montana. Once it is built, the Center will be a state-of-the-art showcase the public can visit to learn about the Forest Service, its people and its legacy.

National Conservation Legacy and Education Center exterior view.

Get involved in the history of the U.S. Forest Service!