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Forestry advocate Kintigh dies at 90.

Byline: The Register-Guard

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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 last week of age-related causes, family members confirmed. He was 90.

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 and National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year.

The former honor was bestowed in 1992, when a Douglas fir from their farm in Cedar Flat east of Springfield 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 forest land.

Kintigh planted his first tree, a white pine, on his father's dairy farm in Pennsylvania when he was 10 years old - and spent much of the rest of his life planting, cultivating and cutting down trees. He often advocated for forestry and the needs of small-woodlot owners in opinion essays and letters to the editor.

"After my Lord and my wife and family, trees have been the principal interest in my life," he said in a Register-Guard interview in 2006.

Kintigh was surrounded by family members when he died around 1 a.m., said Paul Kintigh, one of his five children.

A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Grace Community Fellowship in Eugene, where Kintigh and his wife were longtime members. Major's Family Funeral Home in Springfield is in charge of arrangements, and remembrances may be made to the Eugene Mission, said Mark Kintigh, another son.

The specific cause of Kintigh's death was unclear, family members said. He was in hospice care at home in his final days.

Kintigh earned a bachelor's degree in forestry at Penn State University, then served in the Navy during World War II, where he was an officer on a destroyer in the Pacific. After his military service, he headed west and got a master's degree in forestry at the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1957, Kintigh bought 160 acres of open fields, brush and stumps, as well as many stands of 15-year-old Douglas fir, at Cedar Flat. He later named his acreage Kintigh's Mountain Home Ranch. He also worked as a nurseryman and consulting forester.

He and his wife grew more than 700 varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas on their property, and were members of the American Rhododendron Society.

He was a three-term senator in the Oregon Legislature, between 1987 and 1999. Margaret Kintigh said Wednesday that her husband was motivated to serve in the Legislature by his belief that "rural people in Oregon were not being represented at all. ... Rural people were so disenfranchised; he wanted to represent the country people."

In his last Senate term, Kintigh chaired the Senate Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee and served as Senate president pro tempore.
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Title Annotation:Springfield Extra
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Mar 29, 2012
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