Rural System, Inc.
 Sustained rural lands; sustained profits

What's Rural System, Inc.?

Rural System, Inc. is a proposed for-profit corporation, a conglomerate of over 60 small natural resource related enterprises. Some of the enterprises, subsystems, are new, some very old. It is a system doing modern, sophisticated, computer-aided management of the lands and waters of an eastern US region in order to sustain long-term profits and
"proposed" may be deleted soon
quality of life for citizens. Concentrating on outdoor recreation, specialized tourism and rural development, including forest and wildlife management, it works on restoring, enhancing, and gaining lasting production from rural resource base.

The umbrella entity is a conservation and education organization. It may use national and state lands and waters but, most importantly, it provides opportunities for the owners of private lands and waters (often for absentee owners) to experience profits related to superior land management. While managing the assets of such lands, Rural System, Inc. provides related services and products from the unified business units. Half of these units work from the managed lands called Pivotal Tracts that are under contract. A central unit provides incubator-like services and allows the corporation to harvest public research investments, to achieve economies of scale and division of labor, to gain synergism, and to stabilize employment.

The enterprise leads the region in computer-aided, year-around, private land management. It shares funds with citizens and originators. It links citizens as well as visitors to the land and its long-term potentials for profits. It provides an alternative regional identity, one of a place for modern rural resource development and management. It links buyers and users with producers of certified forest products and wildland resource opportunities from well-managed rural land and water resources. Successes are achieved via diligent work with personal incentives, diverse enterprises and products, and computer optimization of a total system. It overcomes the old failures of natural resource management, i.e., diseconomies of small-scale operations, mixed objectives, lack of diversity, seasonal work, lack of annual income, and failure to add value to products and efforts. It capitalizes on innovative uses of the Internet, global positioning satellites, and computer mapping throughout the region.

The vision for the enterprise is that its success in improving the social, economic, and environmental health of the region can allow the enterprise to become more effective and expand. Thus, similar influences can be transferred, years later, throughout a region near southwestern Virginia, then internationally. The work will be recognized as the product of a special paradigm in rural resource and wildland management. As such, Rural System, Inc. will become a profitable conglomerate operating well past this century, given its 150-year planning horizon sliding forward annually.
Robert H. Giles, Jr., Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
formerly of the College of Natural Resources, Virginia Tech
504 Rose Avenue, Blacksburg, Virginia 24060
November, 2002