NCS is headquartered in the town on Daltonganj, the district headquarters of Palamau district of Jharkhand state in India. The town is named after Colonel Dalton, Commissioner of Chhota Nagpur in 1861. The district is home to the famous Palamau National Park known for its wild life. The park is spread over an area of over 1000 square kilometers. The area is rich in flora and fauna but also prone to severe droughts. The Palamau National Park was brought under Project Tiger in the year 1974 and is among the original Tiger Reserves of India.
The world's first tiger-census was done in the Palamau forests in the year 1932. There were around 5 tigers when the last census was done. There are several other wildlife found in the sanctuary - chital, chinkara, common langur, dhole (wild dogs), elephants, gaur, hares, Indian porcupine, nilgai, monkey, mouse deer, leopard, pangolin, panther, sambar, sloth bear, wild boar and wolves apart from over 100 varieties of birds.
The creation of Palamau Tiger Reserve in 1974 and implementation of Project Tiger Scheme was a difficult task in forests where grazing, man-made forest fires, poaching and extraction of timber were prevalent. The need for people's participation was felt to convert this area into a no-poaching zone, with regulated grazing, reduced fire incidents and the creation of a situational framework where a scientific management approach of the environment was possible.
NCS was formed to tackle these issues, and was the vision of late Sri S.P. Shahi, Chief conservator of Forests, Bihar, Late J. P. Sinha, the first Field Director of Palamau Tiger Reserve and Dr D. S. Srivastava, Professor, Ranchi University. It was formed by assembling prominent members of society, including "shikaries" (professional hunters) and other relevant stakeholders, as correct and relevant representation was foundational in any attempt to find sustainable solutions to the above problems.
NCS has diversified its activities in these years to include programmes to empower women, youths, local communities and man-made impact on biodiversity and natural resources, but the basic objective continues helping Project Tiger be successful.