AUGUSTA, Maine — Prentiss & Carlisle, a Bangor-based company that manages more than 1 million acres of Maine timberland, was recognized Thursday with the state’s highest award for forest stewardship.
Founded in 1924, Prentiss & Carlisle owns more than 100,000 acres of forestland and manages an additional 1 million acres, making it one of Maine’s largest land management firms.
Presenting the Austin Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award during a ceremony at the Blaine House, Gov. John Baldacci praised the 86-year-old company’s longstanding commitment to Maine’s timber industry.
“Without fanfare, Prentiss & Carlisle has certified nearly 750,000 acres of Maine land to Forest Stewardship Council standards,” Baldacci said, referring to one of the nation’s two leading certification programs for sustainable forestry. “Congratulations. What an accomplishment.”
Established in 2004, the Austin Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award is given annually to individuals or organizations credited with managing Maine’s working forests in a sustainable and exemplary way.
The award’s namesake is a former state forestry commissioner who served 13 governors during his nearly 45-year career with the Maine Forest Service. Wilkins died in 2005 at age 102.
Award recipients are selected by the Maine Department of Conservation and the Maine TREE Foundation.
Alec Giffen, the current director of the Maine Forest Service, also credited Prentiss & Carlisle President Donald White for literally offering a critical voice on behalf of landowners while working on the Keeping Maine’s Forests initiative.
That initiative, which leaders hope will become a new model worthy of federal funding, aims to strengthen Maine’s commercial forestry industry while conserving land for recreation and tourism. The working group’s steering committee includes representatives of environmental groups, landowners and the pulp industry — factions that do not always see eye-to-eye on land use issues.
“Don has always been upfront in his participation in our effort and that element of being constructively critical is key to our success,” Giffen said.
Prentiss & Carlisle chairman David Carlisle, the grandson of the company’s founder, said credit for the company’s success and the award presented Thursday should truly go to the company’s clients and foresters.
“It’s easy for us to sit in a place like this and talk [about forestry] … but it really takes the guy on the ground, the forester, to get the job done,” Carlisle said.