Located in the Haliburton Highlands of Central Ontario Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve Ltd. offers a forest generated retail experience away from the forest through
products created exclusively from wood harvested, milled and transformed within Haliburton Forest.
Timber harvesting has been carried out on the lands that today we call Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve Ltd. ever since Europeans started settling in the Haliburton, Ontario area in the mid 19th century. Believing that the vast forests were inexhaustible, the first decades of forestry activities were not sustainable and resulted in forests declining rapidly in quality, health and structure. By the middle of the last century the sawmill literally ran out of wood and was abandoned. Later the lands came under new owners, and the Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve Ltd. was created. Hand in hand with this new ownership came a shift in management, based on principles of sustainability and a long-term, strategic perspective, through single tree select harvesting. Within 50 years of this new approach, the once depleted forests had improved sufficiently to allow for the construction of a new sawmill, which would be solely fed by timber from the company's holdings. In 2009 this mill sawed its first board and since then has produced about 4 million board feet of lumber annually. Together with this annual volume of boards and timbers, the mill generates 10,000 tons of woodchips and a combined total of another 10,000 tons of bark and sawdust.
Two features are unique about this new mill: firstly, where commonly a forest serves a mill, in the case of Haliburton Forest, the mill's prime purpose is to serve the forest. This in turn creates the second unique feature, which requires the mill to process the entire array of woods generated, including all 25 species of trees grown at Haliburton Forest, from the lowly poplars and ironwoods to highly desired cherries and oaks. The processing also includes all quality classes from very poor grades of logs to the very best qualities of timber a forest can produce.
In the end the resulting lumber is being sold into the world market as railway ties, pallet boards and truck flooring while higher grade wood will be turned into furniture and used for applications with decorative and ornamental purposes. Lumber of all species but especially that with special features is used extensively in the products created at the Haliburton Forest Wood Shop.
As an extension of the forest, all products generated at the Haliburton Forest sawmill are certified by the internationally recognized Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) as 100% Pure under license FSC-C118457. This ensures customers that the highest level of environmental and social care is being taken in the generation of all wood products at Haliburton Forest.
The Haliburton Forest Wood Shop is where high grade woods are used to generate custom furniture and other accessories. All woods used in our facility come exclusively from the 80,000 acres at Haliburton Forest. Trees selected for harvesting are carefully removed from the forest by horse or machine and processed at the nearby sawmill.
The products created with Haliburton Forest wood are generated mainly in two workshops. The onsite Wood Shop provides customers with anything related to forest products: timbers and lumber of various sizes and species, one of a kind burls and featured wood as well as finished products from bowls and unique, customized furniture to gift items and one-of-a-kind, artistic wooden objects. The selection of lumber and timber used by the Wood Shop is as wide as the Forest is large. There are 25 different tree species found at Haliburton Forest, which provide us with everything a wood connoisseur desires: from subtle, light spruces and poplars to stunning red cherry or flaming birch; furthermore visitors will find dark, heavy oaks and ironwoods as well as the amazingly vibrant bird’s eye or curly maples. Lumber and timber used at the Wood Shop are air or kiln dried, depending on the end use. While, smaller items like hand crafted spoons, spatulas, trains and ornaments are designed and crafted at another smaller one man workshop, were each piece is carved by hand and extra attention to each individual piece is given. Here beautiful maple, cherry and oak are used to create functional items as well as common bass wood is transformed. This ensures that the wood is utilized to produce as few off cuts as possible.
With the sawing and crafting of wooden products The Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve Ltd. offers a forest-generated retail experience away from the Forest. The retail outlets offer an exciting view into Haliburton Forest by presenting a range of over one hundred unique, one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted and sustainable wood products that have all been locally produced from wood harvested exclusively within the Haliburton Forest.