The Conservation Camp Program began in 1958 with inmates from the Nevada State Prison to perform conservation related activities, including fire suppression. Two camps were established in 1959, one located northwest of Reno on Peavine Mountain and the other on Spooner Summit at Lake Tahoe. The Peavine Camp was closed in 1968 due to the encroachment of neighborhoods. The Spooner Conservation Camp closed in 1970. From 1970 to 1978, the Division did not have a Conservation Camp Program, but continued to use three inmate crews from the Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) for conservation work assignments. In 1978, the Stewart Conservation Camp was established just outside the walls of NNCC due to Legislative mandates and the overcrowding of all prison facilities. The Pioche Camp was constructed in 1979. Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s eight additional camps were added (Three Lakes Valley, Jean, Wells, Ely, Humboldt, Carlin, Tonopah and Silver Springs).
Legislative direction in the early 1990s required the program to generate revenue. The Conservation Camp Program currently generates over two million dollars per year, which assists in funding the program.
In 2008, the Silver Springs Camp was closed by the Department of Corrections due to budget cuts.