The McRae Lumber Company is focused on, and dedicated to, a future of sustainable forestry and environmental stewardship that benefits all interest groups.
Timber comes from three primary areas; Algonquin Park, Crown land of the Bancroft-Minden Forest and Private Lands. A wide variety of forest types and species are represented in each of these areas.
Sustainable Forestry Practices
Updated: Mar 05 13 Created: Mar 01 13
(sum of shaded area) is equal to 12.3 square metres
per hectare of forest (60 square feet per acre).
Over the years, the methods and techniques employed by the company in the bush have changed considerably. The evolution of logging has been towards a more scientific and environmentally friendly approach. This has been in response to stakeholder concerns, new government regulations and changes in technology. Within Algonquin Park a great deal of this evolution has been the result of research carried out at the Swan Lake Forest Research Station that opened in 1950.
Sugar Maple is one of the primary species that is logged within and adjacent to Algonquin Park. It makes up the cornerstone of the logging industry and is the main species cut by the McRae Lumber Co. With this in mind the continuity and sustainability of this species is paramount to both the ecology of the area and the industry. Logging in sugar maple forests is managed by a forestry plan known as the “selection system”. The aim of this system is to produce a forest that continually regenerates itself while providing a consistent volume of high quality wood. It is also possible, by deliberately removing the poorer quality trees and leaving the better ones, to upgrade the quality of the forest.
The science behind the selection system was discovered at the Swan Lake Research Station. It was here that they found the optimum levels of sunlight and space needed for maximum high quality growth. This can be seen on the Basal Area of Sugar Maples Graph above.
The requirements for White Pine are different than those for Sugar Maple and in 1975 the Uniform Shelterwood System was developed. In this system the stand is logged in a series of cuts at 20 year intervals. This system keeps the sunlight on the forest floor in the desirable 40 - 50% range that maximizes regeneration and growth of white pine and limits the impact of parasites like the White Pine Weevil.
The three diagrams on this page are provided courtesy of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Friends of Algonquin Park. The diagrams are taken from the book Trees of Algonquin Provincial Park written by Dan Strickland.