Steve Weiler needs more than a 4-foot-diameter larch stump if he wants to see eye-to-eye with the forest ranger he helped carve.
The Bunyanesque figure in the Ace Hardware Store on Brooks Street stands 8 feet tall without his stump. Someday soon, he will stand at the entrance of a National Museum of Forest Service History in Missoula. Store manager Weiler and friends Phil Bain, Jerry Covault, Chuck Kaparich and Alex McDonald spent every Thursday of the past two years carving him.
“We’ve been carving since 1991, when we helped make the original Carousel for Missoula,” Weiler said. “When that was done, we kind of missed getting together and carving, so we just kept on going.”