Preserving Our History

Since forming in 1977, our members have made a lot of memories. Some of our most treasured have to do with improving working conditions, positively influencing park management, and providing training for our colleagues. In 2019, we decided it was important to preserve those memories by transferring our organization’s records to a permanent home. The collection we created not only protects our past, it shapes the future by opening our history to students and researchers who want to learn about the ranger profession.

A Special Connection

Photo of ANPR Records in storage at Colorado State

In fall 2018, a committee from the Board of Directors considered many possible destinations for our records. After a broad search, the committee determined the best home was at Colorado State University’s Agricultural and Natural Resources Archive. This facility is home to more than 100 similar collections including several dedicated to former National Park Service employees. The archives’ temperature and humidity controlled storage space and special, acid free packing materials prevent our files’ deterioration and ensure our history will be protected long into the future.

Today, the archives also make our records more accessible to researchers to want to learn about the ranger profession.

Public Lands History Center

Consistent with its heritage as “the Ranger Factory,” Colorado State University (CSU) is home to a large number of faculty and students with interests in public lands management. Working with professors in the CSU Department of History, ANPR is directly connecting students with documents that help them learn about ANPR’s work to support the ranger profession and improve park management across the United States.

The Public Lands History Center runs the "Parks as Portals Learning Program" to engage high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in a wide range of projects that concern national parks and other public lands across the west. The students apply their skills to real world projects and help to write planning and research documents that shape National Park Service policy. Some projects have included a:

The professors who manage this program and teach courses on land management and National Park Service history consider ANPR’s records a valuable asset and use them as a unique teaching tool.

A Lasting Legacy

The ANPR collection at Colorado State University serves not only as a permanent record of our accomplishments, but as a model to help shape the next generation of conservation leaders.

You can learn more about our collection and schedule a time to see our records for yourself by contacting the archivists at Colorado State University’s Agricultural and Natural Resources Archive.

Help Preserve our History!

Do you have letters, programs, photos, or other records that tell the story of your participation in the Association of National Park Rangers? We want to preserve your part of our history. Write ask.a.ranger@anpr.org to learn how ANPR will help you add records to our permanent collection at Colorado State University.