Rick Dieterich, 3,000th Friend of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, has yet to set foot in the proposed wilderness, but he will sometime soon. The retired Thompson Falls teacher says, “There are so many places I haven’t seen,” Rick says, “but the Scotchmans are on my list now.”
Rick signed up to be a Friend at the Huckleberry Festival in Trout Creek, Montana, in mid-August after stopping at the FSPW booth to visit with his friend and mentor Ernie Scherzer, a fellow retired teacher, long-time FSPW Friend and volunteer. “He’s the perfect 3,000th Friend,” Ernie says. “Rick is an avid outdoorsman and hunter who has been a great asset to Thompson Falls as a teacher, coach and athletic director at Thompson Falls High School.”
Rick is a native Montanan who grew up in Big Timber and Laurel before attending Montana State University in Bozeman. After graduating in 1976, he taught school in Malta for three years before moving to Thompson Falls, where he taught for 28 years, retiring 2 years ago to “go hunting,” he says.He is looking forward to searching for a big bull in the upper reaches of Ross Creek in the future as well as joining in some of the led hikes that FSPW organizes every year in both the summer and winter.
As the 3,000th Friend, Rick recieved a FSPW t-shirt and hat, as well as a FSPW hooded sweat shirt to help keep him warm on chilly days while chasing critters in the back country. For his diligent help in signing up new friends, Ernie Scherzer also got a hooded sweatshirt and a new Scotchman Peaks hat.
Rick and his wife Kristy, who still works part time at TFHS, have two grown sons, Nate and Shawn.