"I collect a lot of food, [and] wood chips; I get a lot of things in my beard," Schumaker said.
It might attract unwanted items, but he has good reason for sporting some substantial facial hair: he just got out of the Marines.
"I got out in November," Schumaker said.
He is working alongside other veterans from the Army and Navy to help reduce wildfire danger along a 27-acre area near Carbondale that Ody Anderson with the Bureau of Land Management says is known for fires.
"It's an area known for high fire activity, a couple of fires over 1,000 acres within two air miles of here," Anderson said.
The group is based in Durango and taking part in a program that combines the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with a Denver group called Veterans Green Jobs.
Director of Veterans Development Garett Reppenhagen says it helps veterans transition into society by learning skills they can use to find jobs.
"Really get some hands-on training in the real environment," Reppenhagen said.
In this case, the skills make these veterans wildland firefighters while moving them from the role of serving their country, to serving their communities.
"Helping these local communities defend themselves from forest fires if they happen," Reppenhagen said.
It's been a good match for Schumaker.
"We are a real tight knight group out here," Schumaker said.
He is not only learning new skills, but gaining a flair for facial hair, two talents he hopes will serve him well as a civilian.
"November 1st in Durango, there is a beard contest that I plan on winning," Schumaker said.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)