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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team

 

 

 

 

Pennsylvania boasts a rich history, culture, and natural allure, and notably houses the Collins Family, one of the United States’ largest private landholders. This family-owned timber products company commands an impressive 311,395 acres across the state, securing their position as Pennsylvania’s foremost landowner.

Meet the Collins Family

Rooted in 1855, Truman D. Collins, affectionately known as “Teddy,” and his partners laid the foundation for a Pennsylvania-based lumber company. After acquiring full ownership, Truman expanded operations to Oregon, Washington, and California. Presently, the Collins Family’s land portfolio in the United States exceeds 370,000 acres, with 311,395 acres situated in Pennsylvania.

The family conducts its operations through subsidiaries like Kane Hardwood, Collins Pine, and Collins Lakeview Forest. Their product range spans lumber, plywood, particleboard, and veneer. Beyond commerce, the Collins Family actively manages their land for recreation, wildlife, and conservation purposes.

Sustainable Land Management Practices

Committed to sustainable forestry, the Collins Family aligns with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) principles. As the inaugural privately owned U.S. forest products company to attain FSC certification in 1993, they prioritize the economic, ecological, and social facets of land management.

Key sustainable practices employed by the Collins Family include:

  • Selective harvesting, focusing on mature and diseased trees, with younger and healthier ones left to flourish.
  • Extended rotation periods, allowing trees to mature for longer, resulting in superior wood quality and increased carbon storage.
  • Biodiversity protection, maintaining diverse tree species, habitats, and wildlife on their land.
    Water quality protection, preventing soil erosion, sedimentation, and stream pollution.
  • Community involvement, supporting local businesses, schools, and organizations, and allowing public access for recreation and education.

Significance of Collins Family’s Land Ownership

The Collins Family’s vast land ownership in Pennsylvania holds significance for several reasons. Firstly, it bolsters the state’s economy by providing jobs, income, and tax revenue, as per the 2019 report by the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association. This industry employs over 90,000 individuals and contributes over $19 billion to the state’s economic impact.

Secondly, it safeguards the state’s natural heritage, preserving forests covering more than half of Pennsylvania’s land area. Forests, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, offer essential benefits like clean air, water, wildlife habitats, recreation, and climate mitigation.

Lastly, the Collins Family serves as an exemplar for other landowners, demonstrating the feasibility of managing land for both profit and conservation. Their sustainable forestry practices have earned them various accolades, including the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Good Steward Award, the American Forest and Paper Association’s Forest Conservation Award, and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Environmental Partnership Award.

In essence, the Collins Family isn’t merely the largest landowner in Pennsylvania; they are conscientious land stewards, leaving an indelible mark on both their land and the communities and ecosystems it supports. Their legacy is truly remarkable.

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