Who is Otis?

We are proud to introduce RoyOMartin’s new mascot, Otis the Black Bear! He made his public debut in 2019 by greeting students at the Rapides Parish School Board’s Together Tuesday activities, an event designed to strengthen relationships between local schools and the community.

Otis’s Origin

Once upon a time, there was a family of Louisiana black bears that lived in a beautiful bottomland hardwood forest. Every day, Mom, Pop, and baby Otis would roam the forest playing, climbing trees, and looking for food with their friends. One day, while climbing trees with his family, Otis looked out into the forest and noticed that a few of his friends’ homes were destroyed, causing them to move away in search of a new one. This made Otis sad. Who was he to play all day in the forest with now?
Later, Otis and his family went to find his favorite snack: berries and pecans. After walking in circles, the family realized that the trees that made their favorite snacks were also gone! What were they to do? There was not enough delicious food to eat or trees to call home for all the black bears. Because of this, Mom, Pop, and baby Otis got very sad and hungry. The other bears disappeared, and they were left all alone.

RoyOMartin foresters realized that their timberlands were home to Otis’s family and friends. To help restore their habitat and sustain the forest, they practiced proper silviculture. They applied techniques to improve and maintain the health and quality of forests and woodlands to meet the needs of the Louisiana black bear and other wildlife.
In 1992, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Louisiana black bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. More people took notice of the bears’ habitat alteration. They saw that the Louisiana black bears’ home was reduced because of people clearing the forest for agriculture (farming).
To help the bears, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service created lots of research projects to learn more ways they could help. RoyOMartin helped fund, plan, and provide resources for support for these research projects for many years.

With years of collaborative hard work from concerned citizens, private landowners, state and federal agencies, universities, non-governmental organizations, and the forest industry, the forest began to grow again!

The Louisiana black bears excitedly moved back to their restored home. Otis and his family decided to throw a big Welcome Home party for all their friends. They ate delicious food and climbed trees until the sun went down. They had the best day ever!
In 2016, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the Louisiana black bear was delisted under the Endangered Species Act. (They determined that the bears were no longer threatened.) Through the efforts of many conservation partners, the bears’ habitat was restored and continues to be protected today.
RoyOMartin takes great pride in being one of the many stakeholders that contributed to their recovery.


In 1923, Roy Martin took an enormous risk by purchasing a timber mill in Alexandria, LA. By most accounts, Louisiana’s timber glory days had come and gone. Sadly, but typical at the time, previous lumber med had left Louisiana with a significant deforestation problem. This deforestation was problematic for the lumber industry as well as wildlife. Notably, it resulted in a rapid habitat loss for the Louisiana Black Bear, threatening the population of the species. Early in his career, Martin came to recognize the importance of buying land and replanting trees to prevent deforestation. Such efforts in land purchasing brought the RoyOMartin Company into the 21st century with nearly 600,000 acres of timber land. Fast forward to 1988 when the Louisiana Black Bear was listed on the threatened and endangered species list; our RoyOMartin foresters joined efforts with USFWS to save the Louisiana Black Bear by identifying and protecting habitats on our land and helping wildlife officials locate dens so that they could place tracking devices and perform subsequent veterinary tests on the bears. Due to partnership efforts to protect this species, the Louisiana Black Bear was taken off the list of endangered and threatened species in March 2016.
RoyOMartin takes great pride in being one of the many stakeholders that contributed to their recovery. We are proud to take part in creating a better environment for all species through its responsibly managed FSC forestry. RoyOMartin is committed to sustaining our forests for generations to come.