It had never occurred to me that I should be considered any kind of an "Old " on the Flathead. But when Supervisor J. M. Pomajevich and his staff asked me to record some of the historical facts of this area, I considered it an honor and accepted.
I first visited the Flathead in 1922. Since that time I have worked 31 years on a Ranger District in the Flathead Forest. Thirty of these years were spent on the South and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. I also put in 2 years in the Flathead Supervisor's office at Kalispell and 3 years in the Division of Operation in the Regional headquarters at Missoula.
I have attempted to give credit for these stories in all cases where the source was known. Like many stories of this nature, fragments of incidents are picked up at various times and places which, when put together, make a story. Many instances are from personal experience, others are a matter of record. Stories gathered under these circumstances sometimes have more than one version.
I have tried to write this history as concise and brief as possible. Some of the stories include psychological remarks which were intended to add impetus to the story.
I would have liked to have listed the many men in the sub-Ranger class, the loyal, self-sacrificing and hard working group serving behind the District Rangers. Only a partial list could be obtained. Therefore, there is no listing of sub-Ranger men in this volume.
The Flathead Forest would never have developed into the smoothly functioning organization it is today had it not been for the loyal support of these men. Their job is not finished; their support is needed now and as long as there are National Forests. These men have come up the "hard way" and have obtained their knowledge through years of experience and practical demonstration on Ranger District problems not taught in universities.
Charlie S. Shaw