The Algoma Chapter of the OWA has been active since the 1990’s and has approximately 50 members who actively participate in workshops, field tours and community events. Spring and fall events include trips to community and member woodlots to see how they are managing their properties. In addition, workshops and presentations keep members up to date on topics of interest to woodlot owners. Workshops of recent years (pre-COVID 19) have included; invasive species, red pine plantations, observation of the aftermath of a wind event, construction of a maple syrup water production site and visiting the Sault Ste. Marie Conservation Authority.
The chapter works with other regional organizations that share an interest in good stewardship of the environment generally. Over the years the Algoma Chapter has developed relationships with the Sault Naturalists, the Canadian Institute of Forestry, The Invasive Species Research Institute, Algoma’s Regional Agriculture Innovation Network and Sault College amongst other groups in the interest of sound woodlot management.
About the Algoma District
The Algoma Chapter is the most northern and western of the OWA’s Chapters. Extending north from the beautiful North Channel of Lake Huron in the south to the rugged mountainous terrain of Lake Superior’s eastern shore this region covers a wide variety of topography, scenery and forest types. At the region’s southern extremity, St. Joseph's Island and Manitoulin Island are forested with the hardwoods - maples, oak, yellow birch and beech of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence while at the northern boundary, nearer Wawa, the forest transitions to boreal with prominent species of spruce, jack pine, balsam fir, poplar and white birch covering the landscape. The diversity of forest types in the region is matched by a diversity of forest sector businesses including several large scale maple syrup operations on St. Joseph's Island and north of Sault Ste. Marie: two of the island’s biggest syrup producers each tapping over 30,000 trees. The forests support several sawmills including Bonniferro Mill Works Inc., Belleau Lumber Products, Arauco North America, Midway Lumber Mills Inc. and EACOM Timber Corporation.
In total, Algoma district is home to over 115,000 people including the largest city of Sault Ste. Marie, with a population of approximately 75,000. Towns to the east include Echo Bay, Bruce Mines, Thessalon, Iron Bridge and Blind River while to the north; Wawa is the nearest town to the Sault.
Like all of Ontario, the Algoma area has a rich Indigenous history and the rapids flowing out of Lake Superior at Sault Ste. Marie have been a gathering place for people for thousands of years. The Algoma Chapter is situated within the traditional territory of the Anishnabec people and the Robinson Huron and Robinson Superior treaty territory. Indigenous nations include Michipicoten First Nation, Batchewana First Nation, Garden River First Nation, Thessalon First Nation, Mississuaga First Nation and the Metis community of Sault Ste. Marie.
Algoma Chapter Map
Algoma Chapter Board:
David de Geus