The National Museum of Forest Service History will open its doors on Thursday at 10:00 Missoula at its new home a mile west of the airport on U.S. Highway 10 West.

Executive Director Lisa Tate said for the last 30 years, the effort has been underway to build a Smithsonian-affiliate museum to chronicle the history of the U.S. Forest Service, and that effort will culminate this week.

"For several years they have been working to collect artifacts and putting together an education program," Tate said. "We have a 36 acre museum site out past the Smokejumper Center on Highway 10 West. What we are doing this summer is opening a historic ranger's cabin that was actually on the Clearwater National Forest. It was taken apart log by log, moved to Missoula and reconstructed on this site. That will be serving as our temporary visitors center, along with a beautiful interpretive trail that will showcase some of the conservation movement in the United States. That's what's opening on Thursday, and we will be continuing our fundraising to build our actual museum."

The official ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. with cake and coffee.

Visiting the museum is free to the public.

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