Bear Path Farm

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Black Cherry marked for harvest.

SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY

Bear Path Farm is known for its quality compost and to a lesser extent for its peaches and apples. But what many people are unaware of is Bill’s commitment to sustainable forest management. Of the farm’s 50 acres, 35 are forested with a diverse mix of hardwoods (red oak, sugar maple, black cherry, yellow birch, white ash etc.) as well as eastern hemlock and some white pine. For such a small wood lot, it’s extremely productive.

At Bear Path Farm - cutting boards on the property.Over the years of Bill’s ownership, Bear Path Farm has produced over 114,500 board feet of saw logs including some red oak and black cherry veneer logs. Over 200 cords of firewood and pulpwood have also been removed as prescribed thinnings to improve the health and growth of the residual stand of trees. Some of the logs harvested were sawn on the farm with a portable band-sawmill with the lumber being marketed to local woodworkers and friends.

Bear Path Farm has been an official Tree Farm since 1984 and takes pride in the fact that our modest woodland is being sustainably managed under the guidelines of the American Tree Farm System and is certified as such by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

By meeting the rigorous FSC forest management standards, Bear Path Farm reaps multiple environmental benefits for its forestland as well as for the greater good.

portable saw mill

Sustainable forests are not high graded, - a poor logging practice where only the best trees are removed.
Consideration of wetlands, wildlife habitats, and scenic vistas is of prime importance.
Forest access roads are well built and routinely maintained.
Trees on steep slopes are minimally harvested to deter erosion problems.
Sustainably managed forests are properly thinned of small diameter and low grade trees for firewood and pulp.

For decades after timber harvests, the remaining future crop trees thrive and grow rapidly thereby converting large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into wood fiber. Because of this, sustainable forests are positive contributors in minimizing the future impacts of global warming.

As a sustainable compost producer Bear Path Farm is excited about being an FSC certified forest landowner. In the summer of 2007 Bear Path Farm conducted its first FSC certified timber harvest of over 43,000 board feet of timber and 48 cords of firewood. Locust posts from this timber harvest are now supporting the portico of the River Valley Market in Northampton, MA.

For information about purchasing FSC certified lumber and flooring from locally grown timber, contact Dave Lashway of Highland Community Lumber 413-268-7185.

related link: Davies and Company

bill@bearpathfarm.com • Home phone:  413-665-2894 • Cell Phone:  413-320-1262