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Governor LePage Presents 2013 Stewardship Award to Maine Tree Farm Committee
October 1, 2013
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Oct. 1
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
AUGUSTA — Governor Paul R. LePage presented the Maine Tree Farm Committee with the prestigious 2013 Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award at a ceremony today in the Blaine House. The award recognizes people or organizations that stand above their peers to further forestry, forests, or forestland conservation in the state of Maine. Representatives from several organizations were on hand, including the Maine TREE Foundation.
“Maine’s working forests are a vital part of our past, present and future economy,” said Governor LePage. “I am pleased to publicly recognize the important work of the Maine Tree Farm Committee in promoting exemplary management of our working forests.”
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Commissioner Walt Whitcomb and Sherry Huber, executive director of the Maine TREE Foundation, were also on hand. The DACF Commissioner and the Maine TREE Foundation choose award recipients.
“Maine Tree Farm volunteers help 90,000 small woodland owners plan for the best long-term management of natural resources on their properties by providing professional forestry expertise,” said Commissioner Whitcomb. “Today’s decisions shape the forests of the future. Tree farmers develop management plans that meet their goals and promote the sustainability of our working forests.”
“The Maine TREE Foundation has been a sponsor of the Maine Tree Farm Committee since our founding in 1989,” said Sherry Huber, executive director of the Maine TREE Foundation. “We are delighted to recognize these volunteers who especially help small woodland owners manage and enjoy all the values of their property, its wood, water, recreation and wildlife.”
Named after one of Maine’s longest contributing professional foresters, the Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award is the only award in Maine that recognizes stewardship of the working forest. Started by the Maine TREE Foundation in 2004, the award is given periodically, but no more than annually.
Previous Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award Recipients:
Austin H. Wilkins – 2004
Pingree Associates & Seven Islands Land Company – 2005
No award given - 2006
Sherry Huber & John Hagen – 2007
Roger Milliken Jr. & Baskahegan Company – 2008
Jensen Bissell & Baxter State Park Scientific Forest Management Area – 2009
Prentiss & Carlisle Company – 2010
Robbins Lumber Company – 2011
Robert Linkletter & the Linkletter Family - 2012
The Maine Tree Farm Committee makes arrangements for professional foresters to inspect and certify Tree Farms. The purpose of these inspections is to provide on ground assistance and advice to landowners and to help them develop management plans that meet their goals and objectives. After the initial inspection and certification, Tree Farms are re-inspected every five years. These re-inspections provide an opportunity for further forestry assistance and help ensure that certified Tree Farm properties maintain quality standards for continued membership.
The Maine TREE Foundation was founded in 1989 to provide Maine people with good, accurate information about the forest resource. The foundation sponsors several programs, including: Long Term Education About Forests (LEAF), Project Learning Tree (PLT), the Maine Tree Farm Committee, and the Certified Logging Professional program.
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: www.maine.gov/acf