The Conservation Fund has purchased 15,408 acres of Maine woodland from Chadbourne Tree Farms LLC in Oxford County. The primarily white pine tract was assembled by the Chadbourne family over 150 years and includes the site of what is considered the first sawmill in America at South Berwick. Conservation and officials said the acquisition is intended to protect the forest from development, expand drinking water protection for the Portland area and improve recreational access, while continuing sustainable forestry operations and related jobs.

In 2014, Chadbourne Tree Farms received the Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award, which recognizes people or organizations that stand above their peers to further forestry, forests or forestland conservation in Maine. “This forestland and its exceptional white pine timber resources reflect decades of long-term stewardship administered by my father, as well as generations of the Chadbourne family with the help of many skilled and hardworking employees, associates and contractors,” said Bob Chadbourne in the release, adding that the goal is to ensure the land remains forested and continues to provide timber resources and other benefits.