The Managed Resource Space

Space is at least four-dimensional. It has the two dimensions of typical, well known maps, the vertical dimension from deep in the ground upward to the edge of the atmosphere, and time, especially the one encompassing concepts of history and culture. Space as it might become is the realm of the resource manager. Managed resource space is not just landscape or owned area, but it is a volume with all if its history, connotations, meanings, and potentials. It is land with images--blood, gun smoke, disease, catastrophes, happy people, and struggling people. (It includes the n-dimensions of ecological space, the "hypervolume.") A dot is one dimensional. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A line is two dimensional, for example with x and y dimensions A "box" or conventional volume is three-dimensional, for example with x,y, and z dimensions. A volume tumbling along over time (T) is four dimensional and a line showing a time trajectory of a three dimensional entity in three dimensions also suggests a four-dimensional reality.

A three-dimensional thing (like a box) changing in time and also within three-dimensional space may be considered a six or seven dimensional entity.

While it is difficult to deal with more than four dimensions, it is essential for the ecologist and rural resource manager for there are many more than 6 or 7 factors involved in every situation (I contend about that there are about 30 which must be actively considered). Thus we are dealing not with 6 or 7 but with n dimensions. We need to consider not a 3-dimensional volume bit a many-dimensional one, difficult or impossible to imagine or perceive, a hyper-volume.

The famous biologist/ecologist Hutchinson (years ago) described "ecological niche" as the n-dimensional hypervolume. An animal population, as if at some point (such as T2) in the box above) is a function of or exists due to factors along all axes among the points.

By changing factors, several usually simultaneously, managers can get a population to move within the hypervolume. The more constrained the hypervolume, the more rare will be the species. If factors can be relaxed, populations may expand to "fill" the available space within the hypervolume. Toxicants tend to be limiting ... even to death. Pest species tend to have a broad ecological amplitude, ability to occupy vast amounts of the hypervolume. Often the managerial task is to reduce the limitations, expand the volume for a particular species or "deme." The complexity and dynamics of the hypervolume suggest that the concept of the manager merely reducing ""imiting factors" is much too simplistic.

The n-dimensional concept can be used with many rural resources such as outdoor recreation and human use of areas. People find those volumes that are suitable to their set of factors at a time. The volumes change with age, and areas once suitable my no longer be suitable.

Overly simplistic, the hypervolume can be considered a set of flat planes (somewhat like a complex diamond suspended in space and changing position often) such as might be described by a multiple regression equation of a form like:

P = a + B1 +C6 + D4 - E12 + F2 - G5

in which some value of P (for populations or plants or people or animals) may be estimated when values for the six well-selected factors of the environment or social system are well estimated.

Developing and using such models is the task of the modern wild rural resource manager who is typically trying to achieve a desired value such as P. Knowing the values that produce it is essential. Then will come optimization ... achieving the best combination of the variables cost effectively.

Protected Space

Protected space may be tightly controlled parks, wilderness areas, refuges, sanctuaries, natural monuments, even off-limit military areas, but herein we develop the concept of all of the resources of a large area being restored, managed, protected as needed, allowing people to work in an area and around it for a very long time so as to achieve their objectives. While "harmony with nature" is a theme, and sustainability another, managed resource space is consistent with the more important theme of achieving a large set of important human objectives over the longrun. The areas guided by The RRx are not in opposition to European "protected areas" or "protected landscapes" (which have been known for over 40 years).

Resource Space

Resource spaces are nominal systems. They may be pointed out and mapped but only the people living in and near them can comprehend them. They are a singular environment - unusual, interesting, unique, distinctive. It is possible that such unique spaces may be maintained and enhanced, thereby assuring that the people's stated social and financial needs are met and owner's rights are protected and respected. These spaces are more than landscapes, said grossly by some to be "the environment that people experience." They are the areas and volumes, past and present; all the phenomena called "ecological." They encompass esthetics (as in most landscape work), economics (broadly), and energetics implying the fundamental budgeting of energy throughout the entire system. The concept also encompasses the staff and personnel working on and with them, facilities, and computer system whether on the site or not. They are extended areas, both in space and time.

While some will agree that the land volume is the unit to be managed, few will deal with the vast connectedness of such a volume with other lands, all of the land to which birds and insects migrate, all of the lands from which dust-clouds (and radioisotopes) descend, all of the water flowing into and out of the managed volume. The extended resource space is the challenge for the manager.

Managed Space

The success of a long-term, lasting, managed space project depends on cooperating people and groups and on the natural commitment of the people and authorities to the objectives and to the major techniques employed.

These spaces are more than landscapes, said grossly by some to be "the environment that people experience." They are the areas and volumes, past and present; all the phenomena called ecological. They encompass esthetics (as in most landscape work), economics (broadly, with long-term profit as a measure of economic success), and energetics implying the fundamental budgeting of energy (especially the net energy budgeting of survivors) throughout the entire system. The concept also encompasses the staff and personnel working on and with them, facilities, and computer system.

Managed resource spaces are nominal systems. They may be pointed out and mapped but only the people living in and near them can comprehend them. They are a singular environment... unusual, interesting, one thing, distinctive. It is possible that such unique spaces may be maintained and enhanced, thereby assuring that the people's stated social and financial needs are met and owner's rights are protected and respected. Managed resource space is a concept that may include such concepts, but not necessarily. The concept is one of land protected from simple-minded maximizing, from sub-optimization, from disproportionate human group representation, and from unnecessarily short short-term allocations. The concept of protected landscapes may be one whose time has come and perhaps it will soon be replaced by managed resource space.

A social need that must be met through the land is to allow people to exist and experience the area in ways that may enhance the local economy but that at the same time do not substantially alter or adversely effect or prejudice the natural, cultural, and social ceremonies or behaviors.

Managed resource spaces have some of the characteristics of parks and resources but they tend to have outstanding semi-natural landscapes to be in productive use, be inhabited, to have major responsibility to local governments, to be mainly in private ownership, and to be under the care of a decision maker with clear objectives and a systems coordinator.

The Working Platform

Chapter 4

Robert H. Giles, Jr.
July, 2009