Robert G. "Bob" Kintigh

B.S. Forestry, 1943

After graduating from Penn State in 1943 with a B.S. in Forestry, Bob Kintigh spent nearly three years in the U.S. Navy as deck officer on a destroyer that was involved in seven major naval engagements in the Pacific.  He earned a master of forestry degree at the University of California in 1947. 

That same year he moved to Oregon and during the next 13 years worked for two different consulting forestry firms, a pole company, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and for several years operated his own woodworking business.

Since 1957, when he moved his family to a 170-acre property near Springfield, Oregon, Kintigh has also been involved with a family business producing timber products, nursery stock, and Christmas trees.  A tree grown by Kintigh was chosen for display in the White House in 1992.   In 1995 Kintigh passed the management of the nursery and the Christmas trees on to two sons, but he still manages 250 acres of Douglas-fir with the aid of a contract logger and other hired help.

Kintigh retired in 1999 after serving three, four-year terms in the Oregon State Senate.  He was the only forester to have served there and had the added distinction of being unanimously elected as President Pro Tempore.  Kintigh focused attention on forestry issues, landowner rights, and sound forest and agricultural management practices.  One of his bills gave small woodland owners greater flexibility to try different management approaches as long as they met or exceeded the goals of the Forest Practices Act.  Kintigh was also instrumental in passing a bill that protects the timber harvest rights of people who grow timber on land that had not traditionally been used for timber production.  He worked to improve the Forestry Practices Act by emphasizing the importance of wildlife habitat after logging and the importance of erosion control.  He also sponsored the Adopt-a-Highway program in Oregon, worked on salmon restoration issues, and served four years on the Western Legislative Forestry Task Force.  

Kintigh’s  numerous awards include Fellow in the Society of American Foresters (SAF), and  lifetime service awards from the SAF, the Oregon Smallwood Association, and the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association.  In 1997 he was recognized by the Agriculture and Natural Leaders of Oregon for distinguished service and leadership.  In 1999 Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences recognized Kintigh as an Outstanding Alumni Award, and in 2002 as a charter member of the college’s Armsby Honor Society.

Kintigh and his wife Margaret were named Oregon Tree Farmers of the Year in 2005, and in 2006 the American Tree Farm System recognized them as the National Outstanding Tree Famers of the Year.  Over the decades, the Kintighs turned open fields and brush land into a viable and income-producing Tree Farm and have hosted dozens of tours on their Tree Farm.  Kintigh has also contributed more than 60 articles on forestry to newspapers and magazines.