Meet Roger Guernsey
By Sue McMurray
View photos of Roger's recent Pinestia visit.
While many senior citizens find that a recliner and a remote suit a retired lifestyle just fine, you won’t find Roger Guernsey, a 1947 forestry alumnus, talking about how many channels he gets on Direct TV. At 91, Guernsey is nearly as spry as the willowy saplings growing on Pinestia, a 47.5-acre woodlot located just one mile north of Princeton.
In 1987, Guernsey, a retired state forester, and his wife Billie Lou gifted this woodlot to the University of Idaho College of Natural Resources to be used as an outdoor classroom and as a funding source for the Roger Guernsey Forestry Scholarship.
Guernsey visits the university at least once a year and tours Pinestia to see how the woodlot is maturing. Recently Guernsey and University of Idaho President Duane Nellis toured Pinestia, with Guernsey leading the way.
“I didn't have any sons to leave the property to," comments Guernsey. "I wanted to preserve it." Cultivated crops surround the woodlot, and Guernsey said he couldn't bear to see the forest that his grandfather owned be turned into farmland. Guernsey’s mother named family’s acreage “Pinestia,” which means “nest in the pines."
“This woodlot is to be used to help students, woodlot owners, and tree farmers learn about forestry,” said Guernsey. My only requirement of scholarship recipients is that they donate some time to benefit Pinestia in some way. Recipients also are invited to plant a tree in Pinestia’s Scholar’s Grove.”
His agreement with University of Idaho states the woodlot must never be sold. To date, the endowment totals $90,000 and has supported 83 scholars.