The Country’s First Conservation Training School

The country’s first conservation training school was located in Brockway, PA and there have been recent efforts to mark its place in history. Last month the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission marked an area, a little over a mile away from the school’s original location, to honor the school’s history.


Located in Jefferson County, the Ross Leffler School of Conservation was the first of many training locations found around the country for conservation officers. The school first opened in 1936 and hundreds of conservation officers have since completed their training there. Today, the school currently has 29 cadets who are scheduled to graduate early next year.


This school is not just significant because it was the first of its kind. The facility’s early success led to other locations opening up around the country that followed the same model and class structure as the Ross Leffler School of Conservation. Known today as Wildlife Conservation Officers, the original students would go on to become the commission’s first Game Protectors.


Wildlife conservation efforts are always important and we are proud that Pennsylvania has played a vital role in this history. If you visit or live in Jefferson County, you can visit the new marker placed outside of the school. There are also more than 2,000 other markers the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has placed around the state, marking important people, buildings, events, and more.


Whether you are interested in hunting, wildlife conservation, or just Pennsylvania history, the Ross Leffler School of Conservation is something that should be honored. Keep checking back for more news and stories about the history of hunting and conservation in Pennsylvania!