AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul R. LePage will present the Maine Tree Farm Committee with the prestigious 2013 Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the Blaine House.
This prestigious award recognizes individuals or organizations that stand above their peers to further forestry, forests or forestland conservation in Maine. Started by the Maine TREE Foundation in 2004, it is the only award in Maine that recognizes stewardship of the working forest.
“Maine’s working forests are a vital part of our past, present and future economy,” said Gov. LePage, in a prepared statement. “Named after one of Maine’s longest contributing professional foresters, the Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award is an opportunity to publicly recognize exemplary management of working forests.”
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.