Bob Kintigh, 1922-2012
Bob Kintigh, who advocated for his rural constituents in the state senate for 12 years and was a tireless advocate for sustainable forestry, died at his home March 21of age-related causes. He was 90.
He was born in Irwin, Pennsylvania, in 1922. He was raised on a farm in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State University in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry. He then served in the Navy during World War II as an officer on a destroyer in the Pacific. After his military service, he headed west and earned a master’s degree in forestry at the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1947 he and wife Margaret moved to Lane County, Ore. In 1956 they purchased a 170-acre property in the Cedar Flat area in the lower McKenzie Valley, which became known as Kintigh’s Mountain Home Ranch. It was there that he and Margaret raised their family of five children. He worked a number of years as a consulting forester, several years as a BLM forester, and also operated a cabinet shop several years. After 1960 the main source of support for the family came from Mountain Home Ranch where they raised cattle, timber, Christmas trees, and nursery stock. The cattle operation was later discontinued in favor of increasing the Christmas tree production. Later the Christmas trees and nursery were turned over to sons Mark and Dan, and Bob retained the management of the timber on the Mountain Home Ranch and another property in the Cottage Grove area.
Kintigh took pride in the fact that he and his wife of 68 years, Margaret, were the only tree farmers to ever be named National Grand Champion Christmas Tree Growers as well as National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year.
The former honor was bestowed in 1992, when a Douglas-fir from their farm in Cedar Flat earned a place in the Blue Room at the White House. The latter honor, received in 2006 from the American Tree Farm System, recognizes outstanding sustainable forest management on privately owned forestland.
He and his wife grew more than 700 varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas on their property, and were members of the American Rhododendron Society and Rhododendron Species Foundation.
Bob joined SAF in 1943 and was elected an SAF Fellow in 1986. He was also a Certified Forester. He was active in many other organizations including Oregon Small Woodlands Association, Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association, National Christmas Tree Association, World Forestry Center (charter member), and Oregon Farm Bureau.
He was a three-term senator in the Oregon Legislature between 1987 and 1999. In his last Senate term, Kintigh led the Senate Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee and served as Senate president pro tempore.
Bob served two terms as a director of the Oregon Forest Resources Institute and several terms as a director of the Friends of Paul Bunyan Foundation.
A memorial service took place on March 31 at Grace Community Fellowship in Eugene, where Kintigh and his wife were longtime members. Remembrances may be made to the Eugene Mission.
Article originally appeared in Western Forester, Society of American Foresters, April/May 2012 edition