In January, 2016, TBFN purchased a block of ecologically valuable property at Granite Point on the west shore of Black Bay. The 162-hectare (400-acre) parcel has almost five kilometres of shoreline, including a coastal marsh. A variety of wildlife, including such species at risk as American White Pelican, Caspian Tern, and Peregrine Falcon, use the land and the adjacent waters. Bald Eagles nest on the property.
The Granite Point 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. There is an active commercial fishery in the bay and spawning beds 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 camp recently opened to the north. With the purchase of this property, TBFN will ensure that a large block of land on Black Bay will remain untouched in perpetuity, protected from development.
The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists wish to express their gratitude to the Natural Areas Conservation Program – Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Nature Conservancy Canada and the Echo Foundation for their financial support of this purchase.