Sustained forests; sustained profits
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The intent of the group is to help people who love nature and who study it. Nature study is usually a very private, personal activity but occasionally it needs help, encouragement, or support. Many studies result in people gaining world-class knowledge, a wonderful resource that may never be shared or passed on to future generations.
Nature Folks is not an environmental or ecological "activist" or "fund-raising" group. It takes no "stand" and is not a political group. There are many other organizations available to meet these needs. In a related way, however, knowledge of a region can serve well in encouraging sound regional development, high quality of life, and diverse recreational and educational opportunities. Undoubtedly, contacts will be made through Nature Folks with people of similar interests in proposed development projects within the region. The group affiliates with local museums, the North American Association for Environmental Education, and other enterprises.
Nature Folks was created for people who do not already have major groups with which they can affiliate (such as the bird watchers, fishing or hunting groups) or which do not now meet their needs. It is especially for people often having special interest or enthusiasm, but who are generally interested in nature, the outdoors, and the working of natural things. It is for individuals, but corporate or organization involvement in special projects (a list is available) is welcomed and encouraged.
It provides access and opportunities at relatively low cost to:
Conserving observations of nature is another being developed within NatureSeen.
Improvements in the Wildland Knowledge Base are a special area of work and interest.
Nature Folks is a diverse group. Some people prefer solitary work and enjoy the newsletter and web site. Others prefer more group-oriented work and social activities. Neither is emphasized over others and, in general, a "participant pays" policy operates. It is for everyone. There are no gender, age, race, nationality, or place-of-residence limits. The initial emphasis is on the region's wildlands and on their active, diverse, creative and non-destructive uses.
There are literally thousands of potential topics of interest to members of Nature Folks. They are likely to change as knowledge is gained about them, as interests wane, as resources become available or are lost. Rather than name topics, groups have been formed. They are:
The Species People: Concentrates on one or two species of plants or animals, or soil types.
The Time People: Concentrates on phenology, the study of the change in biological events over the year (the migration of geese, the fall of leaves, the blooming of daffodils) throughout Virginia and the region. BirdCast may provide a suggestion for a format to follow migrations.
The Place People: Find their greatest interest in unusual exciting places - bogs, ponds, seeps, forest stands, fern beds, caves, talus slopes, cliffs.
The Layer People: Concentrate on the variety of interesting life in wildland layers, the neritic zone, deep ponds, pond surface, ground surface, the forest layers, even the zone above forests.
The Hyperspace People: Tend to go for it all, all of the above - and more - their interests are multidimensional, unlimited.
The year-around life cycles of invertebrates are essential knowledge for the stream ecologists of The Fishery, those interested in bats (the nighttime workers of the Owls Group), and the migratory forest birds as part of Avi. People interested in the coyote, foxes, and canids of the world join the subgroup called Coyote. New knowledge about the lives of invertebrates will flow from the Butterfly Band because of the capabilities and resources of the GIS of System Central. The Wildland Walkers are hikers who are interested in walking to see nature but also the practical aspects of woodcraft and wildland lore. The interests of The Plant People are unusually diverse. The enterprise is a membership, tour, visitor, publication, survey, museum, garden-interest, and photograph sales group. Its "profit-role" is in loss reduction and cost-effective services not available elsewhere.
A list of topics that members typically embrace may cause some people to reject the group and it may suggest priorities or emphases. Neither is intended. A list, nevertheless, may suggest the types of interests of members and study groups and themes for field trips. The people of Nature Folks are unusual. They are typically roaming off the beaten track and their topics (again, only suggestions of the scope and range of interests) are likely to include, for example only:
See related reptile and invertebrate contacts.
One project in which all members are encouraged to participate (there are few) is the Seasons Project, keeping a long-term record of when certain biological events occur (e.g., bird migration, flower bloom, leaf fall) and how they differ year to year. A web chatroom assists in continuing interest in the flow of the seasons across the US. This group's interest is akin to naturalists' of Britian interest in phenology.
Funding is anticipated through:
Estimated Development Cost......$80,000
Annual Estimated Profits after 5 years......$100,000
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Last revision January 17, 2000.