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Chadbourne Tree Farms receives Austin Wilkins Award

Wilkens award

Nancy and Bob Chadbourne (second and fourth from left) celebrate with family members after Chadbourne Tree Farms received the Austin Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award  from Gov. Paul LePage (far left) and ACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb (second from right).

Governor Paul R. LePage presented Chadbourne Tree Farms, LLC with the prestigious 2014 Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award at the Blaine House in Augusta. The prestigious award recognizes people or organizations that stand above their peers to further forestry, forests, or forestland conservation in the state of Maine.

Started by the Maine TREE Foundation in 2004, it is the only award in Maine that recognizes stewardship of the working forest. 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 Chadbourne Tree Farms for their leadership in promoting exemplary management of our working forests.”

Chadbourne Tree Farms, LLC is a forest products company that has its origins in 1634 when William Chadbourne came to America from Devonshire, England under contract to build a sawmill.  He built a water-powered sawmill in South Berwick, Maine that is thought to have been the first sawmill in America. Several generations have continued the family tradition, making Chadbourne Tree Farms what it is today, a producer of high quality white pine logs for sawmills and quality forest products including veneer, sawlogs and pulpwood.

Chadbourne Tree Farms is a long-time MFPC member and Bob Chadbourne received the Alfred Nutting Award in 2011.

“When you drive through Bethel all you can see are the Chadbourne white pines,” said MFPC Executive Director Patrick Strauch. “Chadbourne Tree Farms is a great example of forest stewardship at its best.”

Walt Whitcomb, commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF), and Sherry Huber, executive director of the Maine TREE Foundation, also commended the Chadbourne family for their lasting impact on Maine’s forest. The DACF commissioner and the Maine TREE Foundation choose award recipients.

“The Chadbourne family’s sustainable forest management, going back centuries, is an outstanding example of how the Maine forest continues to be productive,” said Commissioner Whitcomb. “Chadbourne Tree Farms professionals manage both natural and planted trees to ensure a sustainable, long-term supply of quality white pine logs. Their pruning techniques have refined for decades to the produce the high quality logs sought by mills. The company also serves as an example for others providing public access to private lands for outdoor recreational opportunities like hiking, fishing, hunting, trapping and snowmobiling.”

Named Maine’s forest commissioner from 1958-1972, 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
  • Maine Tree Farm Committee – 2013

The Maine TREE Foundation was founded in 1989 to provide Maine people with accurate information about the forest resource. The foundation sponsors several education 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: http://www.maine.gov/dacf

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