The Maine Development Foundation Honored Robbins Lumber Inc. as a "Champion of Economic Development" at the foundation's recent annual meeting in Bangor.

In the spirit of the annual meeting theme — “Attract, Build, Retain: Talent for Maine” — Robbins Lumber was honored for its long history of sustainable forest management and investment in and eye to the future.

Jonathan Labonte, MDF board member and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management, presented the award to James A. “Jimmy” Robbins and Alden Robbins.

“I am honored and pleased to present a 2017 Champion of Economic Development Award to Robbins Lumber," Labonte said. "This family-owned, fifth-generation forestry, lumber and woods products business knows a thing or two about Maine’s forest economy.

"The Robbins family has managed Maine’s forest resources sustainably so they can be here as a resource for future generations," he said. "They understand the history of Maine’s forest economy, even as they look to the future by building a biomass plant that will not only help their business but also provide a boost to the local economy.”

Robbins Lumber has played a key role in Maine Development Foundation’s Forest Economy Growth Initiative. Formed in 2016, the Maine Forest Economy Growth Initiative is a collaborative effort by forest product industry and community stakeholders to reinvigorate Maine’s forest economy and ensure that Maine’s rural communities prosper.

“The challenges to Maine’s forest products industry are significant but not insurmountable. Robbins Lumber is a shining example of a Maine business committed to investment and stewardship,” Labonte said.

Founded in 1881 when Frank and Otis Robbins first opened their small stave mill on the St. George River, Robbins Lumber Inc. today owns and manages 30,000 acres of its own forests and buys logs from over 150 independent loggers. Robbins Lumber is a vertically integrated forest products firm producing Eastern white pine lumber and byproducts in its mill, while at the same time caring for and growing forest products on its superbly managed woodlands. The company employs more than 115 people.