Lead by Example Award: Bud Moore

The Paul Gleason Lead by Example Award has been given posthumously to William R. “Bud” Moore, who passed away in November. Mr. Moore retired in 1974 as the Director of Fire and Aviation for the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region. On November 30, 2011, Wildfire Today posted excerpts from article about his career that ran in Smithsonian Magazine, including the fact that he helped to develop one of the first prescribed natural fire programs in 1972.

Last month, another Lead by Example award was given to a group of personnel on the Black Hills National Forest.

The document below was prepared by Bill Miller of the USFS’ Missoula Smokejumper Program.


Bud MooreWilliam R. “Bud” Moore ventured on to what he considered “The Big Trip” in November of 2010.  During his time here with us, Bud exemplified the concepts of Service and Leadership.  Officially, Bud served his nation for over 40 years, starting with U.S. Forest Service as smokechaser and forest guard on the Powell Ranger District 1934, and Retiring as the Director of Fire and Aviation for the USFS’ Northern Region in 1974.  Bud spent three of those years serving in the 1st Marine Division during World War II in the South Pacific Campaigns, and attained the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.

Upon his return to the states, and the U.S. Forest Service, Bud quickly jumped back into a life of dedication to the land he loved so much, and to the people that worked it.  When he rejoined the USFS, Bud spent time as a Fire Control Aide, and a Forest Ranger on the Powell Ranger District of the Clearwater NF, where he made a home for Wag Dodge following the devastating fire in Mann Gulch, 1949. Bud then went on to become a Staff Forester and in 1959 was promoted to Safety & Training Officer of the Intermountain Region, where he was Instrumental in the development and the implementation of the 10 Standard Firefighting Orders and the original 13 Watchout Situations.

For the next several years, Bud would continue to be a student of leadership, fire and the landscape and to educate those around him, even in the face of scrutiny… Bud took a solid stand and worked toward what he believed to be right, all the while, listening and including others in the process.  In a time when aggressive initial attack and the “10 am” policy, were THE option, Bud and his team would take a step that would go onto to inspire, sometimes infuriate, but ultimately revolutionize a philosophy of land management and fire’s role on the landscape, with what went onto to become the first “Prescribed Natural Fire” on USFS ground.  This innovation and initiative provided a vision for a different future for the public land we managed, and a call to wise, responsible stewardship for those managing it.  Bud pioneered a mindful and conscious decision making process based on values at risk and a healthy ecosystem.

Following his retirement in 1974, Bud’s life of service continued full bore.  Bud would continue to learn and to contribute to world of leadership, ecosystem and fire management through his many articles, editorials and a book he authored in 1996 entitled, The Lochsa Story, Land Ethics in the Bitterroot Mountains.  Over the next 36 years, Bud would go onto refine and demonstrate the concepts of responsible ecosystem use and stewardship on his land that he affectionately called the “Coyote Forest”, sharing time with professionals and anyone interested to strengthen our knowledge and our bond with the land.  For his many contributions and innovations, Bud was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Montana, although you would never hear it from him.

Bud Moore was an incredibly humble man that most likely made his biggest impacts through the time he invested in others.  Bud was always eager to share stories with the multitudes that sought him out.  Mysteriously, as a man full of wisdom, and of such accomplishments and history, Bud would always leave those he spoke with feeling as though THEY were the important part of the conversation.  As an Icon, known for his ability to teach through story-telling, Bud was often the humble listener.  Bud spent his life as a student of the world around him, and was able to translate what he learned into lessons that bettered the land he loved, and the lives of many he led.  Bud exemplified the concepts of mentorship and teamwork and serves as an excellent role model as the mindful leader… the educator and the servant.

It is with enthusiasm and the humility that Bud would expect, that the NWCG Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program recognizes the Lifetime of Achievement and the Legacy of William R. “BUD” Moore with the Paul Gleason, Lead by Example Award.  We are better for his time with us.  We would like to present this award to the family of Bud Moore, in sincere appreciation and reverence for his service and his example.

William R. “BUD” Moore

October 19, 1917 – November 26, 2010

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation.  He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing.  To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”

– Francoise Rene Auguste Chateaubriand


Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

3 thoughts on “Lead by Example Award: Bud Moore”

  1. I had the honor of knowing Bud, and I can’t imagine a more fitting tribute. He truly was a leader by example. Thanks to Bill Miller for putting this together.

  2. Another excellent tribute to Bud Moore can be found in the Spring/Fall 2010 (Vol 16, 1 & 2) (pg 42-43) of the journal “Forest History Today”. The article is by James G. Lewis. Very well written.


Comments are closed.