Since the beginning, Black Bird's primary objective has been to improve the overall health of the forest. Our basic strategy of not over-cutting and targeting of diseased or over-mature trees for removal has been the backbone of our forest management practices. This silvicultural system has created a juvenile and dynamic forest that is more resilient to climate change. This uneven aged forest also sequesters more carbon over time than an overmature forest.
Another major objective has been to preserve the biodiversity found in the forest, including the forest composition. Although our area is predominately sugar maple, there is a component of yellow birch and softwood. Where appropriate, seed trees of these species are retained to maintain and enhance their presence on the landbase. A biodiverse sugar bush is a requirement for organic certification.
We also focus on maintaining water quality, using low impact harvest equipment and targeting specific harvest areas during appropriate seasons.
In order to diversify uses from the landbase, Black Bird is investing in a large maple production facility. This facility is expected to be organically certified by the end of its first year of production in 2020. The facility uses the most sophisticated systems and processes to minimize environmental impact.
Conservation of 60,000 acres of ecologically diverse forest
Preservation of biodiversity
Improving resilience and carbon sequestration
Landbase has 2.9 million tonnes of sequestered carbon
Black Bird has been committed to employing local people. When fully operational Black Bird will have 14 full-time people on staff and 20 contract workers on a yearly basis. Our forestry division employs Goulais River contractors KC Logging and Mark Jamieson Trucking year around.
We are also committed to helping local clubs and organizations, including the fire department, cycling club and snowmobile club. We have a longstanding relationship with Stokely Creek Lodge, a world renowned cross-country ski facility. Most of the trails managed by the Lodge are on properties managed by Black Bird Management and owned by Astina.
A sustainably managed forest also provides ancillary benefits such as landscape aesthetics. Batchawana Bay is a high tourism area and the pleasing landscape is appreciated by local campers and out-of-town tourists.
Preservation of landscape aesthetics
Economic return from the forest has also been an objective. For 30 years, an economically viable harvest operation has been implemented on the landbase. Profits were reinvested to purchase surrounding land parcels as they became available. By practicing sound forest management practices, the value of the forested landbase has increased. It is our belief that proper early management activities will pay dividends in the future, even though more initial economic return could have been realized with less intensive management.
Major infrastructure investments throughout the landbase will increase profit margins throughout the forest.
The maple production facility venture is a major local investment, generating direct and indirect jobs in a remote area. This operation will provide sustainable products to the local industries for further added-value.
Generate local economic development