By The Associated Press
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Plans for the future National Museum of Forest Service History will be unveiled in Missoula on Tuesday, and officials say construction of the $12 million facility could begin within a year.
The first Forest Service district office was opened in Missoula in 1908 and eventually became the headquarters for Forest Service Region 1. Tom Tidwell, a former Region 1 supervisor who now heads the Forest Service, will present the plans.
The museum will be built on 36 acres about a mile west of Missoula International Airport. So far, more than $3.2 million has been raised to buy the site, on building design and on conceptual planning. Another $8 million must be raised to complete construction and to exhibit displays.
Features are expected to include a 3-D theater, an authentic ranger cabin and fire lookout, as well as a memorial tree grove. The museum is expected to house more than 40,000 exhibits, covering the history of the Forest Service and the lands and communities it influenced.
Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.