New Wage Grade Exhibit Unveiled

Ed "Drum" Drummond at Wichita Mountains NWR // Photo Credit: USFWS

Visitors to the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV will have a new display to view in the Conservation Museum beginning Monday, March 24, 2014. It chronicles the history of wage grade work going back to the nation’s first National Wildlife Refuge, Pelican Island.

The origins of the modern wage grade workforce emerged in the 1930’s when thousands of Civilian Conservation Corps employees sought work on refuges and hatcheries from 1933-1942. People like Ed “Drum” Drummond (shown here) found jobs caretaking Service lands. Many of these employees, like Ed, went on to spend decades with the Service. Drum spent 60 years working at Wichita Mountains NWR, working in the role previously occupied by his father in 1919.

Doug Mason, equipment engineer at the Carolina Sandhills NWR first conceived of the idea for a wage grade display at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC). In the year that followed, all Service regions were contacted to procure honor roll employees, images, artifacts, and local histories of wage grade work. One year later, the exhibit will be dedicated on the first day of the 2014 Wage Grade Academy.

Today’s wage grade workforce members are the first responders to changes in the ecosystem and work closely with managers and biologists to apply new science and management practices on the ground. Wage grade professionals are the backbone of the Service’s. They shape, protect, and enhance the landscape so we can all more effectively carry out our mission as stewards of the nation’s fish and wildlife resources.

Be sure to visit this new display the next time you come to NCTC.

 -- published --  March 21, 2014
 -- photo credit --  USFWS

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