Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Long-time Forest Service employee retires

Shrum leaves a 42-year legacy with federal agency

Sawtooth National Recreation Area

After a 42-year career with the U.S. Forest Service in Central Idaho, Daniel Shrum is retiring.

Mose, as he is known, started his Forest Service career at the Shake Creek Ranger Station on what is now the Fairfield Ranger District of the Sawtooth National Forest in 1960, working on a brush crew.

In 1961 he moved to the Lowman District of the Boise National Forest, and worked on fire and trail crews and as a wilderness ranger on the west side of the Sawtooth Mountains in what would become the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

In 1973 he transferred to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area where he remained until his Jan. 3, 2005 retirement.

While working on the SNRA, Mose supervised trail and wilderness crews, administered outfitter and guide permits and managed dispersed recreation. He was a master blaster and lead blaster for the Sawtooth National Forest.

He was also responsible for the SNRA horse herd, which numbered as many as 22 animals. Mose spent the past 31 summers at the Sawtooth Valley Work Center, the backcountry and wilderness crew headquarters located on Fourth of July Creek in the Sawtooth Valley.

Mose was one of the most experienced firefighters in the Forest Service. He served on incident command teams since the late 1970s, responding to some of the most difficult wildland fires nationwide during what may have been the most difficult fire seasons in the U.S. since 1910.

According to Terry Fletcher, who served on incident command teams with Mose for many years, "Mose's breadth of experience in the field gave him a working knowledge of fire behavior that has rarely been surpassed. I can't think of anyone I would rather have by my side in tough situations than Mose."

Mose served on several special assignments during his career, including marking timber on the Targhee National Forest, as lead blaster constructing a fish ladder in Alaska, and, most recently, as a safety officer on the team that delivered the National Christmas Tree from Idaho to Washington, D.C., in 2003.

SNRA Area Ranger Sara Baldwin said his experience, wisdom and can-do attitude will be missed.

"He is leaving a legacy of accomplishment here on the national recreation area that few people will ever have a chance to match," she said.

Sawtooth National Forest Supervisor Ruth Monahan also said he would be missed.

"He was extremely dedicated and one of the most professional people I have had a chance to work with. His commitment to and passion for preserving and protecting the values of the SNRA was recognized by all that knew him," she said. "Mose has left his mark on the SNRA and the Sawtooth National Forest. I thank Mose for his years of service and truly caring for the land and serving people. His accomplishments have been significant and will be a lasting legacy on the forest."

Mose said the greatest change he has seen during his time with the Forest Service is the time required to get projects approved. He believes the process to analyze the environmental effects of proposed actions is necessary, but needs to be streamlined so that "a bridge that will take one day to put in doesn't require six months to get approved."

When asked what he will miss the most about the Forest Service, Mose answered, "getting up in the morning at Sawtooth Valley Work Center and looking out at the Sawtooths."

His plans after retirement include fishing, playing golf, and spending time with his new grandbaby.

Mose and his wife Dianne continue to live in Hailey.

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