Robbins Lumber of Searsmont Presented Forest Stewardship Award

AUGUSTA, Maine (Bangor Daily News September 8, 2011) — A family-owned lumber company was honored Thursday by the Maine Department of Conservation and the Maine TREE Foundation with the eighth annual Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award for outstanding contributions to forest management and stewardship.

Praising the Robbins family and its commitment to forest stewardship, Gov. Paul LePage made the presentation to James L. Robbins, president of Robbins Lumber Co. of Searsmont, a Maine company that owns and manages 30,000 acres of its own forests and operates a sawmill complex and warehouse.

“The Robbins family is a testament to forest stewardship,” LePage said during a ceremony at the Blaine House. “They have demonstrated that Maine family businesses can compete in a global economy, protect wildlife, conserve resources, and of course, be successful.”

The Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award recognizes landowners and individuals who are outstanding examples of managing the working forest of Maine.

Established in 2004, the award is named after the late Austin Wilkins, who was employed by the Maine Forest Service for 40 years and served 13 governors as commissioner of forestry.

The award recipient is chosen periodically by the Maine Department of Conservation commissioner and the Maine TREE Foundation, but not more often than annually.

Robbins Lumber owns and manages 30,000 acres of its own forests, manufactures more than 26 million board feet of white pine lumber and other manufactured products, and produces 15,000 Christmas trees for sale in Maine and out of state. Robbins Lumber also has a landowner assistance program that manages about 5,000 acres for other landowners. The company buys logs from more than 150 independent loggers and employs 115 people.