LePage will make the presentation to Robert Linkletter, owner of the Maine Woods Pellet Co. of Athens, who was a significant contributor to the Appalachian Trail/Maine Department of Conservation 2011 “Saddleback Connector’ initiative. That initiative created an invaluable interface between the national hiking trail and the region's snowmobile and ATV trail loops.Established in 2004, the Wilkins Award is named after Dr. Austin Wilkins for his lifelong leadership in being a steward of Maine's forests. The award is the major recognition for landowners and individuals who are outstanding examples of managing the working forest of Maine in an exemplary and sustainable way. It is the only award that recognizes stewardship of the working forest.
Linkletter and his family own and operate timberlands as Linkletter Timberlands, LLC. He also is vice president of Linkletter and Sons Trucking of Athens. The businessman received a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Maine and is one of the state's first Master Loggers. He also serves as president of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine.
Past Wilkins Award recipients have included: Dr. Austin Wilkins; Seven Islands Land Co. and Pingree Heirs; Sherry Huber and John Hagen of the Manomet Center for Conservation Science; Roger Milliken Jr. and the Baskahegan Timberlands Co.; Baxter State Park Director Jensen Bissell; Prentiss & Carlisle of Bangor; and president of the Robbins Lumber Co. of Searsmont, James L. Robbins.