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Richard Sandman

Dick SandmanForestry Pioneer

Dick Sandman was born in Minot, North Dakota in 1934, went to grade school in South Dakota and graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor's degree in Forestry in 1956. He then worked a time for the United States Forest Service and then went to work for State Forestry in the fall of 1957.

He worked for State Forestry for over 27 years starting in the Stillwater State Forest, where he established a system for marking roads and areas. The signs were handmade, and later when they opened the Youth Camp in the Swan they had a wood shop there to make all the signs used by the State. From the Stillwater he was transferred to Helena to open the New Helena Unit office. When Rod Krout retired, he was transferred to Missoula, where he took over as Chief of the Fire Management Bureau. He remained as Chief until he passed away unexpectedly in 1985.

Dick was primarily responsible for evolving the program of acquiring excess military equipment from various miltary bases and received one of two National Fire Awards for this program. He was active in the Intermountain Fire Council and served several years as the secretary/treasurer. During that time he established a scholarship program by investing the funds and then at each yearly meeting awarded a few scholarships to deserving forestry school students.

Dick was principally responsible for the County Cooperative Fire Program, with the last few counties entering the program in 1985 (making it Statewide). He received a letter of recognition from Governor Schwinden, a posthumous award for his efforts from the Montana Association of Counties, and his second National Fire Award. He also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the U of M Forestry Alumni Association.

Dick was an active member of the Intermountain Fire Council, Western Forestry, First Lutheran Church in Missoula, where he taught confirmation for seventeen years, and the Board of Control-Concordia College in Portland Oregon.

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