Keep Idaho Green

Troop #6 receives prize (check) for Keep Idaho Green program.  June, 1949.  Harrison Dennis, Keep Idaho Green Secretary giving check to Albert Schoenhuth SM #6 (right side of picture).

This speech “Keep Idaho Green,” was given at the Methodist Church, on June 26, 1949, by Paul Esley, of Troop 6, sponsored by the Methodist Church of Idaho Falls, Idaho.  The church services, which included this speech, was broadcast over radio K. I. D local broadcasting station, thus reaching the people of south-eastern Idaho.


We have all heard the slogan, “Keep Idaho Green.”  This phrase was started by the Jaycees in 1946, to protect our forests from fire.

The State of Idaho has now 23,000,000 acres of forest of which 17% is white pine, 20% western yellow pine, 28% Douglas fir and larch, the other 35% consists of lodgepole pine, white pine, white-bark pine, alpine fir, engleman spruce, cedar and hemlock.  Sixty three percent of this timber lies north of the Salmon River.

In 1943, there were 102,424 acres of land burnt throughout the state.  In 1944 there were 107450 acres, in 1945, 116,349 acres and in 1946 only 70,687 acres were destroyed.  This record shows us that the individual is getting more fire minded, and doing his share to prevent forest fires.

Forest fires are kept under control by many new methods which were devised after the past war.  The “smoke jumping” method is very effective in getting to the main source of the fire.  this is done by men who risk their lives by jumping from planes by parachutes.

Camps have been set up to educate men in the latest methods of fighting and controlling fire.  The forestry sumer camp is now being held on Payette Lake near McCall, Idaho.

Statistics provided by the United States Forest Service show that nine out of every ten forest or range fires are caused by carelessness of man.

The Jaycees are to be commended for sponsoring such a noteworthy program as “Keep Idaho Green,” and now it is up to each and every individual to help them carry on.

There are four main rules to follow when you are out in the forest, fishing, hunting, picnicking, or on a vacation.  These are:

  1. Hold your match until it is cold, then pinch it to make sure it is out.
  2. Crush out at all times your cigarette, cigar or pipe ashes in an ash tray.
  3. Drown your campfire, then stir and drown it again.
  4. Ask about the law before burning grass, brush, fence rows or trash.

Remember, you and only you can prevent forest fires.  Let’s “Keep Idaho Green.”

The Boy Scouts of Troop #6, sponsored by the Methodist Church of Idaho Falls, has attended the Boy Scout Camp of the Tetons, every year since it started.  These boys have learned the basic methods of fighting forest and range fires.  This was done by the cooperation of the forest ranger of that district.  He usually came to the camp every Tuesday night where he lectured and sowed them the dangers and how to combat forest fires.  This was good training for our scouts, as our motto is “Be prepared.”  Some of our scouts have obtained the Forestry merit badge, of which one of the requirements is to describe how to fight and stop a surface fire, or ground fire if such occurs within his region, and tell the chief causes of forest fire.  This preparation will help, “Keep Idaho Green.”

© Cheryl Siedelmann 2012