Pennsylvania is known for being home to the Collins Family, who are among the biggest private landowners in the country, and for having a rich history, culture, and natural beauty. With an amazing 311,395 acres under management throughout the state, this family-owned timber products company has established itself as Pennsylvania’s largest landowner.
Meet the Collins Family
Teddy, aka Truman D. Collins, and his associates established the groundwork for a Pennsylvania-based lumber corporation in 1855. Truman extended operations to Oregon, Washington, and California after gaining complete ownership. As of right now, the Collins Family owns more than 370,000 acres of land in the United States, of which 311,395 are in Pennsylvania.
The family uses companies like Collins Pine, Kane Hardwood, and Collins Lakeview Forest to run its businesses. They offer veneer, plywood, particleboard, and lumber among their products. The Collins Family actively administers their land for conservation, wildlife, and leisure activities in addition to business.
Sustainable Land Management Practices
The Collins Family is dedicated to sustainable forestry and supports the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) guidelines. Being the first privately held forest products company in the United States to receive FSC certification in 1993, they place a high priority on the social, ecological, and economic aspects 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 enormous Pennsylvania land holdings of the Collins Family are significant for a number of reasons. First off, according to the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association’s 2019 report, it strengthens the state’s economy by generating jobs, income, and tax revenue. More than 90,000 people are employed in this sector, which also generates over $19 billion in revenue for the state.
Second, by maintaining the forests that occupy more than half of Pennsylvania’s land area, it protects the state’s natural heritage. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources claims that forests provide vital advantages such clean air, water, habitats for wildlife, leisure, and climate mitigation.
Last but not least, the Collins Family sets an example for other landowners, showing that it is possible to manage land for both conservation and profit. They have received several awards for their sustainable forestry methods, including the Environmental Partnership Award from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the Good Steward Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation, and the Forest Conservation Award from the American Forest and Paper Association.
To put it simply, the Collins Family isn’t just the biggest landowners in Pennsylvania; they also take great care of their land and have left a lasting impact on the ecosystems and populations that live there. Their legacy is very impressive.