Boreal Heartland harvests product from the northern Saskatchewan forest. We want to ensure that the plants we harvest will be available for generations to come, so sustainability of our harvest is key. We ensure sustainability through a number of initiatives:
Permitting - Harvest in the provincial forest is regulated by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment. Before we harvest, we must provide the Ministry with data regarding the amount of product we want to harvest, our harvest methods, and the area we will harvest from. Our plan must be approved by the Ministry before we can proceed and our harvest is monitored, and quantities reported as part of the permit requirements.
Harvester Training – We work with the Herb and Spice and Specialty Agriculture Association of Saskatchewan (HSSA) to provide training and certification to our harvesters. Each year we work with HSSA to provide Good Agriculture Collection Practices (GACP) training and certification in our region.
Indigenous Advisory – Boreal Heartland has formed an advisory committee of Indigenous northern people to advise on traditional perspectives regarding harvest of forest plants. The committee is: Eleanor Hegland, Lac La Ronge Indian Band; Harold Johnson, Montreal Lake Cree Nation; Nap Gardiner, Sakitawak Metis; and Charlie Cook, Lac La Ronge Indian Band. The committee makes recommendations and instructs us on harvest quantities and methods.
Traceability and Mapping – We record the location from which our products are harvested using GPS coordinates. We are also working on plant abundance mapping surveys that will allow us to predict abundance of plants and target harvest areas using that data.