The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists (TBFN) own and protect more than 4,000 acres of natural land in the Lake Superior watershed. Now the group is working to protect a block of ecologically valuable property at Granite Point on the west shore of Black Bay. The 162-hectare (400-acre) property has almost five kilometres of shoreline, including a coastal marsh. A variety of wildlife, including American White Pelican, Caspian Tern, and Peregrine Falcon—all of which are species at risk—use the land and the adjacent waters. Bald Eagles nest on the property.
The new Granite Point Nature Reserve will provide opportunities for low impact recreational use and nature appreciation. Visitors may see pelicans and mergansers along the shoreline, dramatic rock domes, Arctic plants, and even rare orchids. In the winter, giant pressure ridges of ice pile up along the point.
Black Bay is one of the richest wildlife habitats on the north shore of Lake Superior. This shallow bay teems with migrating ducks and waterfowl in the spring and fall, supports an active commercial fishery, and provides spawning habitat for Whitefish and Lake Trout. In recent years, increasing development along the west side of the bay has reduced the amount of natural shoreline available for wildlife. A major cottage development lies a few kilometres to the south of Granite Point, and a trailer park recently opened to the north. With the purchase of this property, the TBFN will ensure that a large block of land on Black Bay will remain untouched in perpetuity, protected from development.
The TBFN’s bid for the property has been accepted and the deal is expected to close in January, 2016. Currently, they are looking for support from the public to proceed with the purchase—all donations are tax deductible.
Visit tbfn.net for more information about the TBFN and the new Granite Point Nature Reserve, including maps, photos, and information about how you can help protect this important habitat.