UM Collection of Bud Moore Photos, Recorded Stories Now Available Online

May 04, 2015

Firefighters burn out to protect the Bad Luck Lookout from the Bad Luck fire in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, circa 1973. The image represents the early days of “let it burn” fire-management policy in wilderness areas, validating fire’s role in the ecosystem.

MISSOULA – The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library at the University of Montana recently published an online collection showcasing original photos and audio recordings by well-known Montana forester, conservationist and author William Robert “Bud” Moore. 

The Bud Moore Photographs and Sound Recordings Collection, hosted by the Montana Memory Project, is free for the public to view online at It features more than 4,500 images and 1,400 recollections recorded by Moore, author of “The Lochsa Story: Land Ethics in the Bitterroot Mountains.” The images range in date from the 1930s to 2009 and document both the personal and professional aspects of his life.

Born in Florence in 1917, Moore was known as a true Montana woodsman. He joined the U.S. Forest Service full-time as a young man, beginning a career that would span several decades and many changes in land-management policy. Following his retirement in 1974, Moore wrote and spoke on sustainable forestry, trapping, hunting and other wilderness topics. He published “The Lochsa Story” in 1996.

Before he died in 2010, Moore started organizing his extensive collection of images and recording his recollections about them and the events they portrayed. Following his death, Moore’s children donated the collection to the Mansfield Library, where staff worked to transition the files from their original spreadsheet, enhance the descriptive information, and make the photo and audio content available online. The original slides and photographs are housed at UM’s Archives and Special Collections, along with Moore’s journals and other writings, as part of the Bud Moore Papers.

Bud Moore stands at a lumber pile near his Coyote Forest sawmill in August 1987. Photo by Suzanne Vernon.

“Pop always had a keen interest in upcoming generations and felt that young people hold the key to future solutions for the planet,” said Moore’s daughter, Vicki. “I think he would be very pleased to see his stories made available to the general public, and especially to researchers and thinkers concerned with our wildlands and how we are connected to them. He would feel good knowing that his experiences and learning will still be of use long after he himself has gone to join the Great Spirit.”

For more information call Donna McCrea, head of Archives and Special Collections, at 406-243-4403 or email

Contact: Donna McCrea, head of Archives & Special Collections, UM Mansfield Library, 406-243-4403,