The Ross Leffler School of Conservation was established July 7, 1932, at the site of a hunting camp near Brockway, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. It is the first school, ever, devoted entirely to training conservation officers, and helped establish the agency's lead role in wildlife conservation throughout the world. 

Group learningOf the 2,235 applications received for the enrollment of the first class in 1935, 35 were selected. The new officers underwent a nearly 9-month training program that included anatomy, physiology, biology, wrestling and gymnastics, business practices, English, geography of Pennsylvania, agency history, government, public speaking, practical botany, tree identification, typewriting and boxing.

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During the fall, each officer spent seven weeks with various game protectors, learning wildlife law enforcement. During the winter, trapping and predator control was taught at the school. At the completion of instruction, the men again went into the field for a two-week period of trapping under a skilled instructor. 

Ross Leffler schoolOn February 28, 1937, at a special ceremony in Harrisburg, 27 of the original 35 trainees graduated. Those officers carry the unique distinction of being members of the very first training school for wildlife officers in the world.