The Denver Public Library's Conservation Collection was established in 1960 by author, and conservationist Arthur H. Carhart in collaboration with John Eastlick, then Denver’s City Librarian. Carhart was the first landscape architect hired by the U.S. Forest Service, and spent a lifetime promoting environmental awareness, supporting conservation projects, and working with an extensive network of natural resource activists. The works of these activists, as well as Carhart’s own writings, served as the beginning core of today’s Conservation Collection.
In subsequent years, organizations such as the Wilderness Society, the Izaak Walton League of America, American Rivers, American Farmland Trust, and the Nature Conservancy designated the Denver Public Library as the official repository for their records. Prominent conservationists have also contributed their papers to the Collection, including Ira Gabrielson, first director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and President of the Wildlife Management Institute; Howard Zahniser, Executive Secretary and Editor of the Wilderness Society; Enos Mills, the author and lecturer now best remembered as the father of the Rocky Mountain National Park; and Velma (Wild Horse Annie) Johnston, advocate for legislation protecting wild horses and burros. The Conservation Collection also includes Hal Harrison's ornithological field notes and nature articles, and a draft copy of Aldo Leopold’s masterpiece of conservation literature, A Sand County Almanac. Research Guide