USFWS and Conservation History

The National Conservation Training Center Museum and Archives house films, photos, and documents chronicling the rich heritage of wildlife conservation.  A changing museum and state-of-the-art research archive help the public, researchers and professional conservationists better understand the rich history of American wildlife conservation.

 Conservation MuseumConservation HeroesHistory journalsfallen comrades memorial

Conservation lecturesConservation Archives history committeeOral Histories

Conservation Museum

The National Conservation Training Center has dedicated itself to the interpretation and display of America's Conservation Heritage. In addition to the Conservation Museum, the facility also contains displays throughout the classrooms, lodges, and common areas.

The idea is to have history integrated into every aspect of conservation training. To meet our conservation goals the National Conservation Training Center has a full-time Museum Curator trained in historical preservation and display.  

If you would like to donate an item to the Museum or set up a tour please contact  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Historian Mark Madison at:

National Conservation Training Center Museum/Archives
698 Conservation Way
Shepherdstown, WV 25443-4024

Phone: 304-876-7276


woman standing on hill overlooking view of lake on refuge
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Conservation History journal highlights the history of the USFWS and our partners. USFWS Historian, Mark Madison, launched the journal in the 2000s.

The National Conservation Training Center invites prominent conservationists, writers, historians, scientists, filmmakers, and educators to discuss their work to a broad and interested public.  View our recorded CONSERVATIONISTS IN ACTION SERIES.

Fallen Comrades Memorial

As the History Committee compiles a written and oral history of the Service, a subcommittee has been established to formally recognize those employees killed in the line of duty. A temporary memorial plaque on the Director’s corridor in the Main Interior Building eventually was replaced by a permanent memorial at the National Conservation Training Center, the Service’s "home", and the site of the agency's archives and museum.

The subcommittee, composed of Ron Anglin (chair), Rick Lemon, Denny Holland (for retirees), Steve Chase and Spence Conley, would like to ensure that it has a complete list of those individual who lost their lives in their capacities as Service employees.  Please take the time to review the following list.  If you know of anyone who should be added or corrections which need to be made, or if you have any biographical information about those on the list, please contact Mark Madison by email ( or phone (304 876-7276). 

Fallen Comrades Remembered

Remembering those employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

If you are interested in ordering a Fallen Comrades Memorial Brick, visit the Friends of NCTC web site.

Criteria for Inclusion in the Fallen Comrades Memorial

Inclusion on the fallen comrades memorial will be based on meeting both the criteria of location and causation.

  • Location
    • USFWS Employees need to have met one of the following criteria at the time of death.
      • On Agency Premises: The employee will have been killed while performing assigned duties or engaging in an activity which was reasonably associated with employment at one's place of employment.
      • Off Agency Premises: The employee will have been killed while performing agency related work away from one's place of employment. Examples of inclusion might include death while traveling on business or while engaged on a mission away from the primary site.
  • Causation
    • USFWS employees need to have met the following criteria for causation at the time of death.
  • Direct Causation
    • The employee's death is the direct result of injury or factors of employment that can be traced through a natural or unbroken sequence.
  • Definitions
    • For the purpose of the memorial USFWS employee shall be defined as a worker carrying out the mission of the Service and its predecessor agencies. In addition to direct agency employees this would also include Civilian Conservation Corps, Youth Conservation Corps, Job Corps, and regular agency volunteers.
  • Special Cases
    • Realizing that the criteria are open to interpretation, all questionable cases of inclusion will be referred to the Heritage Committee which will vote secretly by simple majority rule as to inclusion or exclusion.


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The Conservation Lecture Series at NCTC
Writers, Scientists, Filmmakers, Conservationists, Historians Speak to the Public at NCTC

The National Conservation Training Center invites prominent conservationists, writers, historians, scientists, filmmakers, and educators to discuss their work to a broad and interested public. All talks are held at the Byrd Auditorium at the National Conservation Training Center.  No tickets or reservations are required, and the public is encouraged to attend. If you would like more information on the speaker series contact: Mark Madison, at 304-876-7276, These talks are co-sponsored by The Friends of the NCTC.

See a list of scheduled events or a list of recorded presentations.

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Oral History

Oral History Project - Preserving Our Heritage Through the Voices of Our People

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes the rich history and heritage of the Service and the many contributions of employees and others to the mission of the Service. The Service has an oral history program to acknowledge and record these stories. To learn more about the project, resources will be available soon.

Oral History Feature - Lynn Greenwalt

  • Our current feature is an interview with former Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Lynn Greenwalt, on June 26, 1999.  Former Fish and Wildlife Service Director Lynn Greenwalt (1973 -1981) spoke during the Region 3 Project Leaders Conference held at the Omni Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana. Lynn Greenwalt Oral History Transcript

Oral History Collection

Oral History Resources

  • Oral History Fundamentals (video) - This 90-minute team-taught Webinar introduces key components of a successful oral history project, with an emphasis on in-depth interviewing. Instructors discuss briefly the rationale for oral history research, how to plan an oral. April 27, 2012.
  • Voices from the Fisheries (NOAA) - Oral History Database Documenting the Human Experience of the Fisheries of the United States

For additional information and guidance, please send email to

Conservation Archive

The following items can be located in the USFWS National Digital Library:

For additional information and guidance, please send email to

History Committee

The work of the History Committee is to ensure that the history, memories, and former personnel of the Service are not discarded or forgotten.


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