Theodore Roosevelt, with the able guidance of Gifford Pinchot, called for a Governor's Conference in 1908 to stimulate a nationwide effort to create agencies charged with conservation of the nation's natural resources.

At this conference, the first Conservation Commission was appointed. It was comprised of 7 unpaid commissioners whose focus was on soil, water, forest and mineral conservation.

Other existing agency structures included a Fish Commission (1874), Forestry Board (1905) and Parks Board (1907).