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Forest ranger, conservationist, logger, trapper and teacher Bud Moore, shown here on his land in the Swan Valley he called “Coyote Forest,” died Friday after a lifetime of adventures in the wilderness of western Montana. “I’ve been thinking about the footprint we all leave,” Moore said in 2009. “I want to make sure all mine are in order.” Photo by KURT WILSON/Missoulian

KURT WILSON/Missoulian

Friends and admirers of the late Bud Moore will gather at Idaho's Powell Ranger Station this weekend to swap stories about the ranger and conservationist.

"At his funeral in December, if we'd have let everyone say something who wanted to, we'd probably still be there," son Bill Moore said. "So we thought, let's have a rendezvous in the summer, where everyone can tell stories. An old mountain-man rendezvous would be perfect, without the whiskey and the beaver pelts."

Bud Moore started his U.S. Forest Service career in the Lochsa River drainage, and eventually became ranger of the Powell Station from 1949 to 1954. He later went on to Utah and Washington, D.C., before returning to Missoula as head of fire aviation for the Forest Service's Region 1.

"That was the launch for his professional career," Bill Moore said. "It was where he always tied his philosophy back to the ground."

Moore also had deep experience as a backcountry packer and trapper. As a U.S. Marine in World War II, he fought in several of the most notable battlegrounds of the Pacific Theater. In retirement, he advised and mentored many in the environmental and conservation movement.

"He was our first conservation easement donor," said Ryan Lutey of the Vital Ground Foundation in Missoula, which works to protect grizzly bears. "He helped us set the tone of listening to the land, and he was a friend of grizzly bears, especially in the Swan Valley."

The rendezvous begins Friday, but scheduled events don't start until about 11 a.m. PDT Saturday, when Forest Service staff will make a presentation at the ranger station. Bill Moore said the rest of the day is open to meet old friends and swap stories before a potluck dinner at 5 p.m. In the evening, several people have prepared videos and slideshows of Bud Moore's life and exploits.

Moore died Nov. 26, 2010, at age 93.

Reporter Rob Chaney can be reached at 523-5382 or at rchaney@missoulian.com.


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