“Every time I walk the same piece of woodland, I see it differently. Perhaps it’s the weather, the time of day, the season or my perception, but it is always more. More beings, more connectivity and more amazement of the way it all works.” (McKay, 2003)
The company called Nagaya Forest Restoration Ltd. (Nagaya) was formed in 1999 to put good minds to good work. The name is from the Gabra People of Kenya and connotes a peaceful return, a reference to the restoration of our forests. William (Bill) McKay is the president and sole owner of Nagaya and has been learning and developing a truly sustainable and restorative practice in Maritime forests for over 35 years.
Nagaya is dedicated to the celebration of the natural world, to the conservation of healthy ecosystems and to the restoration of degraded habitats. All life is interconnected with none more important than another. Healthy forests mean healthy communities. On behalf of those not yet born, people should be empowered to express their thoughts and actions for the achievement of a land ethic, of woodland care and restoration.
A “Pool” of clients with woodlands of 10 to 2000 hectares and clients who dream of passing their stewardship on to family or others makes a reason for Nagaya. The Nagaya membership can be families, communities, associations or entrepreneurs. The management horizon for restoration purposes is measured in the hundreds of years, so this is obviously a commitment of long time.
All of the members become “certified” as stewards of forests whose management practices adhere to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards in accordance with the Principles and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The Forest Stewardship Council is introducing an international labeling scheme for forest products, which provides a credible guarantee that the product comes from a well-managed forest. All forest products carrying this logo have been independently certified as coming from forests that meet the internationally recognized FSC Principles and Criteria of Forest Stewardship. In this way, FSC provides an incentive in the market place for good forest stewardship.
Participation is voluntary. The woodland owner must clearly accept an invitation to participate. In an atmosphere of comfort, the Resource Manager (Nagaya) must hear the landowner’s goals and expectations. A plan is prepared that will restore the forest to a healthy ecosystem. Nagaya does not take an interest in the land. The landowner and Nagaya document respective roles and responsibilities. Eventually a Memorandum of Agreement is signed to commit to long-term restoration. Preferably, the landowner will implement the plan; however, Nagaya is there for support and to assist in any way needed be it advice, training or work. It is critical to monitor the woodlot to ensure planned prescriptions are producing expected results. The approach is a precautionary one that uses selection to enhance diversity and to develop the inherent value of quality trees. Interventions into woodlands are carefully considered to minimize site degradation and to conserve habitat. Nagaya has further described its Mission, Principles and Harvesting Practices to locally apply the international policies. Your efforts are for the forest and all the beings therein.
There are benefits for you. Some of the things that you will realize are:
- Your children and all those thereafter will thank you.
- Your ecosystem will be healthier as will the community that shares it with you.
- You become both a student and teacher, as there is much to learn and share.
- You can put a world recognized and respected label on your timber and non-timber forest products.
- You can help complete the process for non-woodlot owners [consumers] so that they can support a system they believe to be right and direct their money accordingly – they cannot buy it if you do not make it.
- You may receive a price premium for the certified products that you sell.
- You may develop market comfort for your forest products. Certified products are more apt to fit into niche markets. Knowing you can sell your product means, you can predict a cash flow, which is critical for any business.
- You will experience cost savings from management improvements and efficiencies.
- You can take a major step toward establishing eligibility for the Intergenerational Transfer of Land (Canada Customs and Revenue Agency) and the consequence of capital gains taxes.
- You will experience the support from other like-minded pool members through information sharing, technical advice, marketing and sales. The pool is a ready-made network of involved, dedicated and caring people.
- You will enjoy third party analysis and critique of your piece of the ecosystem to ensure that you are doing the best that can be offered.
- Members wanting to secondary manufacture and sell product labeled as certified are covered by the Nagaya Chain of Custody certification and therefore experience significant savings of both time and money.
- You will know that the land is being managed with consideration of social, economic and ecological values.
- Your family, neighbours and the public will respect you for you insight, ethics and efforts.
Like muscles of the mind and body, a land ethic needs to be exercised. Nagaya Forest Restoration is an effective way to exercise that ethic and demonstrate to others that it can be done. To socially, environmentally and economically work with woodlands and your community for the next hundreds of years is no small task. The above is an introductory summary. The next step is a conversation where we can more thoroughly explore the process.
“To allow life to flourish is an act of generosity, respect and grace.” (McKay, 2003)
Nagaya Forest Restoration Ltd.
214 Chartersville Rd.Dieppe NB E1A 1K4