Help “Keep Oregon Green®” by becoming a member of our Association.
“Keep Oregon Green®” is a registered trademark of the Keep Oregon Green Association,
Keep Oregon Green Association, Inc.
PO Box 12365
Salem OR 97309-0365
Phone: (503) 945-7498
In the beginning about July 1940, Oregon’s State Forester, Nels Rogers, John B. Woods,
Edmund Hayes, and others, started a Keep Oregon Green program. Early in 1941, Governor
Sprague called an organizational meeting and a KOG Committee of some 65 public-spirited
citizens was established. From this group was named an executive committee which
included Edmund Hayes, Row River Lumber Co., Chair; Dean Johnson, C.D. Johnson Lumber
Company, Vice Chair; John B. Woods, Oregon Forest Fire Association, Executive Secretary;
H. J. Cox, Willamette Valley Lumbermen’s Association; Nels Rogers, State Forester;
John C. Kuhns, U.S. Forest Service; and Walter Wiesendanger, businessman, Klamath
A full-scale KOG program was launched by Richard Kuehner, 4-H Club extension agent
from Lane County, in 1942. About 65 prominent and influential people, willing to
lend their names to the cause, were appointed to a KOG “General Committee.” Then
a public-spirited individual from each county was appointed as “County Chairman,”
and this chairman appointed a local committee within his/her county. Statewide newspaper
and radio committees made up of influential leaders in these fields were appointed.
During this time also, the Oregon Green Guard program for youth participation was
initiated. Mr. Kuehner developed a program unique in nature that maintained the identity
of KOG, yet was flexible enough for individual participation in fire prevention or
group participation on a project basis by which merit badges and other awards could
be earned. At first, applications were distributed statewide, mainly through the
schools, 4-H clubs, Boy Scouts, and other youth groups. The response was so immediate
and tremendous that the Salem office was deluged with applications to process, posters
and fire prevention material to mail out and barely enough funds on which to operate.
The main purpose of this program was to get the youth to remove the fuels around
their farms houses and outbuildings. Isn’t it amazing that in 1940, we were asking
the same thing we ask of residents today…remove the fuels that carry fire from around
their homes to protect it should a wildfire occur.
In 1948, Albert Wiesendanger, District Ranger, U.S. Forest Service, took an early
retirement from the Mount Hood National Forest and most successfully maintained enthusiastic
support of the program for over 20 years. Albert Wiesendanger is the personification
of Mr. KOG.