Rural System, Inc.
 Sustained rural lands; sustained profits

  Continued Design Details
for All Groups

 Link to the
 Business Plan Contents for other elements.

  The Tours Group

The Tours Group is an economic enterprise that can be sustained within the context of the efforts of Rural System, Inc. The action is gentle on the land, educational, and meets the real needs of a population that is becoming more urban. The enterprise works to arrange high quality, well-catered and well-outfitted tours of the region and lands under Rural System, Inc. management. These include tours with names such as:

Regional tours are arranged for travelers going to and from the area, meeting staff at several national or state parks and forests on their way to and from the area. A Tours Group can become a main part of a program in Ranging inclusive of residents as well as visitors in a full range of outdoor-related activities and events.

Tours are contemplated for the other ownerships. International tours are arranged for bird watching, seeing the deer and owls of the world, and developing wildlife-related trips with our contacts in Senegal, China, Nigeria, India, Belize, and Colombia. The tours provide employment opportunities, research and education opportunities, enhance the quality of life, and allow a rural contribution to the overall region, and other land holdings. Emphasis in the tours is definitely on nature and that can be defined broadly, but it is expected that the relations of nature to local and national history, to the effects of changing land use, and to diversification will be part of many tours.

The intent of this description is to guide staff efforts and provide insights for planners and investors in Tours. TheTours Group will succeed best when created within the context of Nature Folks, Avi, The Deer Group, The Fishery, Stoneworms and other enterprises such as the Wildland Knowledge Base.

Over 40% of the U.S. population now participate in some form of nature tourism. It is the fastest growing component of the travel industry. Variously termed ecotourism and back-to-nature trips, but also sight-seeing, dispersed outdoor recreation, and even "visits," The Tours Group is a major participant in ranging, the collective term for the above set of words and phrases. The enterprise provides a variety of tours managed as a whole system with a constant theme and clear objectives, central administration, planning, and cost effectiveness.

The objectives (the weights or relative values we can discuss) are apparent: 1. To make a profit for employees and investors.
2. To teach people about nature (where "teach" implies "make a significant change in their behavior or feeling of pleasure or reduced dissonance from stimuli").
3. To stabilize the presence or dynamic of natural phenomena.
4. To acquaint more people with the special natural areas and processes of the region.
5. To expedite meaningful, safe, national and international nature and wildland tours.
6. To help stabilize employment of people with knowledge about nature.
7. To stabilize a diverse research program on nature.
8. To acquaint urban people with the realities of natural processes in the forests, fields, waters, and wetlands that support them.
9. To stabilize sales and services for people on tours, sales that also benefit the local economy.

Tours and programs produced by The Tours Group of the Rural System, Inc. have special characteristics.

  1. They start at the end. A tour participant is a potential long-term member of a "club" of people who have gone on tours. It is as if we are interested in the person leaving the tour bus.
  2. Tourists are educated before starting and during the tour. The emphasis - "the responsible tourist."
  3. Areas are protected.
  4. Collection is discouraged.
  5. Photography is taught and encouraged.
  6. Personal time is encouraged and provisions made for it on tours.
  7. The welfare of local people is enhanced, at least protected.
  8. Historical and cultural activities can usually be related. Special events may be interspersed with "nature" events.
  9. While local activity may be disrupted, the benefits, by design, will outweigh the costs related to disruptions.
  10. General support and encouragement of museum work is provided.

Expenditures and net economic impact of tourism in select Pennsylvania locations (Haney and Schaat 1995) has been in the net range per person per day of $15-25. Nature tourism has not been developed as an economic resource system. The ideas have been limited; the scale of operation has been small; providing diverse offerings has not accommodated the effects of season.

Rural System, Inc. itself has available a vast professional resource. There are unlimited land resources as well in the surrounding areas. A Tours strategy includes direct work with cultural events, motels, busses, restaurants, bed and breakfast, boating, service stations, local stores and markets, art galleries, handicraft groups, and artists. The boost proposed from the creation of the enterprise is to the overall economy. (At Cape May, NJ, visitors observing migrating birds spend over $10 million in the community.) Meetings and suggestions for local participants for cooperating with The Tours Group will be provided.

The general concepts that The Tours Group encourages are (in unison with ASTA):

1. Respecting the frailty of Earth.
2. Leaving only footprints (taking away only memories and photos)
3. Educating before and while on tours.
4. Respecting privacy and dignity of people in areas visited.
5. Refraining from buying objects related to endangered plants, animals, or communities.
6. Refraining from disturbing animals, or communities.
7. Creating support for research, studies, and expeditions.
8. Using appropriate transportation (low impact, low energy).
9. Patronizing nature-sensitive hotels, resorts, transportation, etc. (recycle; noise; energy, etc. and with staff dedicated to improved resource management.)

The potentials (not intended to be site specific) and suggestions of the types of tours:

1. Hawk watching
2. Spring flower tours (medicinal plants, poisonous plants, etc.)
3. Fishing contests
4. Owl "hoots"
5. Coyote (calling up for observation)
6. 'Coon hunts (observation of night hunt)
7. Stream and pond events
8. Canoe trips
9. Geology
10. Autumn colors
11. Beaver ponds and their ecology
12. Archaeological dig site
13. Soils trips
14. Predator-prey trips
15. Spring "seeps"
16. Wild turkey trips
17. Research participation (volunteer work)
18. Expeditions to Ancient Forests
19. Stream ecology
20. Wildflower preserve on the tracts
21. Regional tours; U.S. tours with the Group and Pivotal Tracts as terminal point(s)
22. Timber harvesting
23. Avi - "bird golf" - national and international
24. Deer observation - international trips to see every species of deer in the world (see The Deer Group)

Wildland Adventures

Wildland Adventures may be a part of The Tours Group or separated later. It is closely affiliated with Nature Folks and is a new enterprise seeking to put people in touch with the wildlands, their beauty, lessons, periods, and development as well as with themselves and others. It presents diverse, high quality, and low cost opportunities for:

ˇ Relaxing outdoors
ˇ recuperating from stress or challenges to health
ˇ engaging in exciting activities
ˇ taking realistic safe challenges
ˇ seeing new spectacles
ˇ engaging in personal and group contests (selected by clients)
ˇ becoming informed about nature and its skillful management
ˇ gaining career orientation
ˇ gaining career enhancement
ˇ gaining historical and geographic knowledge in the U.S. and in select parts of the world
ˇ establishing historical or primitive roots

Some may call this unit one of "ecotourism." Perhaps, but we believe that it is unique. We have several roles:

ˇ Arranging for superior international nature study trips. (These are tested and certified experiences; we can almost assume a good match between a person's or group's interests and our arranged visits.)
ˇ The same for U.S. trips.
ˇ We plan, lead, and supervise hikes along famous trails.
ˇ We offer a set of Wildland Adventures, and promote annual events for individuals and families.

Detailed descriptions of each of these are available on request. The financial returns to a region and to the company that manages wildland adventures can be substantial. Signs suggest substantial business in tourism, particularly that called nature tourism or ecotourism. A positive net effect of increasing involvement in our style of such activity and diverting people from other recreational activities is desired. Ecotourism is said to be the fastest growing segment of global travel. As part of a very large and growing industry, Wildland Adventures can provide new or enhanced opportunities for private landowners, rural communities, cities, and others.

Wildland Adventures is grounded in knowledge that for outdoor recreation sports, the level of relative importance (1994) is as follows (based on participants):

Nature tourism is said to have a 30% increase each year since 1987. The potentials for Wildland Adventures within The Tours Group seem very great. The potential clients are numerous. The places and scenery are abundant. Qualified staff has been identified.

Wildland Adventures is discretionary travel to natural and wilderness areas, historic sites and related areas for health, educational, entertainment, and recreational benefits. It also provides financial benefits within the region. The enterprise tends to do the following:

1. Provide incentives to private landowners to manage habitats, preserving some special areas.
2. Encourage public land management for wildlife.
3. Provide incentives for scenic beauty enhancement.
4. Expand tourism opportunities.
5. Increase and stabilize regional employment.
6. Increase educational opportunities.
7. Increase ancillary profits in the realm of transportation, food, lodging, equipment, and insurance.

We shall attempt to develop a Wildland Adventures Association with members who are landowners, tourism managers, camps, tour operators, guides, conservation groups, chambers of commerce, and visitor bureaus, restaurants, and hotels/motels. Sporting contacts are made with Novosports. Wildland Adventures seeks to increase the amount and benefits derived from resources and awareness of the needs and potentials of management. The topics of management:

  1. Assuring maximum use of quality scenes
  2. Assuring maximum use of quality beaches.
  3. Assuring quality lake experiences.
  4. Assuring quality water recreation experiences.
  5. Assuring successful angling.
  6. Using clean and appropriately equipped camping areas.
  7. Using superior hiking trails.
  8. Using quality bed/breakfast, motel, and hotel facilities.

By design, the activities have minimum negative effects on the environment and, where possible, enhancing and conserving effects. Increased nature appreciation is an objective as is involvement in supporting rational land management. Hunting and fishing are arranged as separate activities and not included as specific activities of Wildland Adventures. Combinations from the nearby table are included:
bird watching
nature study
rock climbing
meeting people and forming associations
assisting in research
educational workshops and seminars
vehicle tours

With each trip, membership in Pivots and the Nature Folks is offered. Other options, at discount, are provided. The following are suggested tours or trips:

Visitors bring money to the region. One effort will be to bring as much of that into the System as possible. Strategies need to be developed carefully. In Texas, hunting alone generated $475.5 million in salaries and wages or $20,300 per job. Each job had the extra equivalent production of $4,500.

Monterey Bay Bird Festival is an example of a nature-related activity and tour destination. In Texas, in 1992, 6,000 bird watchers spent $2.5 million in a 6-week period ($101 visitor day). Near Aransas Refuge, 100,000 tourists provide $5 million ($40 per visitor) into the economy. Whooping Crane tours are conducted at $28 per person. In a Hummingbird Festival, 4,000 visitors spent $1 million ($250 per visitor). In Texas 40% of visitors spend $125 per day in average 2-day trips (average is $43). Proportions spent were:
lodging 40%
food 25%
travel 20%
other 15%

There is no one nature tourist, no one participant or market for Wildland Adventures. They are 60:40 male:female ; have household incomes of $25 to $75 thousand, and range from 25 to 54 years old.

Wildland Adventures provides for nature tourists, typically participants, not passive observers. Some, however, seek high quality lodging, not rough camping conditions. A mix of accommodations is needed. A profitable, sustained Wildland Adventures is dependent upon an enduring nature resource in the region and a quality support staff as interested in people as in nature. Rural System, Inc. can position itself to take advantage of the growing interest in nature and wildland experiences.

Strategies for study:

1. Develop knowledge of a set of trails.
2. Develop trails.
3. Preserve areas.
4. Work with local youth as guides.
5. Increase animal richness.
6. Develop group instruction spots (amphitheater).
7. Develop efficient unique food service.
8. Develop efficient health/first aid service.
9. Explore rules and needs for permits for exceptions.
10. Contribute to managers of public areas.
11. Build an environment around each observation, experience, or adventure. It is rare that an instantaneous event can be viewed later as '"worth the trouble or money."
12. Plan or restoration or costs of rehabilitating any sites used.
13. Rotate use of sites.
14. Include education (demos) for almost all events.
15. Develop staff training materials.
16. Conduct staff competency analyses.
17. Use a staff uniform.
18. Develop financial cooperation with lodging and food services.
19. Have citizens "welcome" visitors; train local citizens to provide hospitality.
20. Intensive advertising and promotional is needed.
21. Develop volunteer guidelines for all participants in Wildland Adventures.
22. Develop a sense of personal space, uniting people with the land, their place, their tree, their rock. They learn; this is their place of learning.

Progressively we need to work to reduce property tax on areas that enhance tourism; tax credits for establishing conservation easements; incentives for transportation to serve our areas; limitations of liability; and development of an insurance program.

We need to follow contacts in Senegal, Nigeria, China, Indonesia, and India. Perhaps work through students and the Peace Corps can be mutually beneficial. A Peace Corps training site can be investigated.

Ideas for Development:

  1. Explore cooperative relations with Yarak School of Falconry and Wilderness Survival, (P/O. Box 2371, Thompson Falls, MT 59873); ($600 tuition, Friday through Sunday includes lodging and meals) and similar groups
  2. Black bear-related events with The Black Bear Group
  3. Promote Florida and Senegal manatee activities
  4. Include tax-deductible contribution to wildland research tour fee.
  5. Promote story-tellers and bold tales, and local performers
  6. Demonstrate primitive hunting, repelling, fly-fishing, game farm visits, then promote pheasant raising.
  7. Promote fly tying and sale of equipment and supplies.
  8. Sell products: meat, skins, hair (fly tying), feathers, carvings, local music tapes, drawings, wildlife art, folklore books; folk tales on tapes.
  9. Develop a "grand slam" of wildlife sightings: select fish, ungulates, bovids, and felids.
  10. Also for reptiles and amphibians (as for birds).
  11. Develop a series of steps or sequential tours leading to an emblem, hat, jacket, etc.


The potentials are for daily, year-around use with at least modest profits to those in the Rural System, Inc.

Access to vacation sites and tours is available through Sunterra. Go to The Global Online Community and enter ecotourism for a search word. You will get at least 5 relevant sources.

Go to and click into travel, especially nature travel. for many options. The American auto club, AAA provides maps and tour information. has international hotels. More than one service such as, or travelscape provides air and auto service links and vacation and cruise information. Unions with some these may provide additional financial advantages.

A special type of tour is being integrated within The Fishery and The River Runners.


Jacobson, S.K. and A.F. Lopez. 1994. Biological impacts of ecotourism: tourists and nesting turtles in Tortugero National Park, Costa Rico Wildl. Soc. Bull. 22(3): 414-419

Hvenegaard, G.T. 1994. Ecotourism: a status report and conceptual framework. J Tourism Studies 5(2): 24-35. (email address:

Hvenegaard, G.T. 1993. Tourism in national parks in Thailand. Canadian Council for Southeast Asia Studies Newsletter 2(3): 2.

Eagles, P.F.J., S.D. Buse, and G.T.Hvenegaard. (no date). Ecotourism: an annotated bibliography for planners and managers. North Benington, VT. The Ecotourism Society


Estimated development cost...... $50,000

Estimated annual profits.....

Fog Drip:
Music from the Rural Community

This site brings to the public a vital part of national culture, the songs and music to which we all listen and that we play and sing. The songs are from the people of rural areas of the USA. They all now have copyrights. They are here for anyone to copy on to their computer or CD for free.

We have a special situation in our society, world wide, but especially in the US, with a dozen law suits, errors, conflicting views, emotions, and ill-feelings. They prevent people singing, enjoying themselves, expressing themselves freely. Rural System Inc. is working to try to find solutions or help a little.

This site is different from other sites where copying songs without paying for them is now illegal.
What's fog drip, really?
It's the drops of water, sometimes frozen, that form on tree leaves, especially on pines and hemlocks, that are "combed" from the winds and fall to the ground. Ignoring the amount that falls causes a big error in estimates of the water entering rural systems of all types.

We seek $1.00 as a contribution for each one that is copied. That goes to the author, musicians, and the support of this web site. It's as low as sensible and one way we know to help and to encourage the continuing productive work of rural artists for the personal enjoyment and rich experiences of the rural community. Some people may make contributions to this effort so that we can add more songs, become more secure, and advertise to reach more rural people and their talents. We'll add your song to the site if it's not gross, immoral, or asocial. It costs $50 to enter each song. Contributors may send a photo (a digital camera image) and a typed copy of the words to the song (signed that it is original). We do not handle the musical score. (We can arrange for dictation.) The contributor sends a tape or CD of the song or musical piece ... your best effort (not a TV recording). Oh yes, there is always a form.
Creating a new format for the culture of rural USA

We apply for a copyright to be held by authors and by us. All that participants get is a rock-bottom- price copyrighted song available in public in a mysterious and rapidly growing and changing arena called the music industry-in-transition. We know there is a revolution; we don't know what the landscape will look like afterwards. We think we are reducing artists' risks for the future.

Ronnie Adkins who works with Able Cardoza, Clairfield, TN April, 2003 from What on Earth!The site lets people hear the work of yet-unknown artists. The thoughts and talents or people in the rural community are no longer hidden. Depending on the words, the accompaniment, the ... phase of the moon ... and a dozen other things, listeners may like the work. Maybe they will recognize individuals. Maybe they will make up an audience. The resources and activities of the group include:


Development costs are $40,000


This company provides a site, an electronic Chapbook or "poetry book," for bringing to rural people and others a vital part of national culture, the poems that give us pleasure, understanding, insights, and otherwise often-unattainable dimensions of life.

The poems available to people here are primarily from the people of rural areas of the USA. They are original, unedited, and the best work of the authors submitting them. The production staff screens them in an effort to reject material for inclusion that seems to be gross, immoral, hatefully asocial, libelous, pornographic, or obscene. (The Editor's note: It's our site, no taxes involved, so if you are disappointed with this screening, submit your material freely, no contest, ... elsewhere. Don't fight; we've got other important things to do to enhance the rural world.).

Floats is an enterprise of Rural System, Inc., finding new ways to improve rural land management for now and the long-term future. The poems presented and managed in the site do not have copyrights. The writers understand the risks of someone copying their work. Publishing poems is very difficult ... almost impossible. For most people, it is a labor-of-love. The poems are provided to copy in to your computer for free.

But there is an honor code. We have a special situation in our society, world wide, but especially in the US, with a dozen lawsuits, errors, conflicting views, emotions, and ill feelings. They prevent people expressing themselves freely for social good. Rural System, Inc. is working to try to figure out solutions or help a little.
old wine
new bottles

Floats is just a new electronic place for poets to publish, to preserve their best thoughts and creative efforts, and to achieve their personal objectives.

It displays part of the current culture of the rural communities of the USA. People are encouraged to publish in conventional ways. Publishers are encouraged to contact the poets seen in this site.

This site is for people's insights and ideas, enjoyment and all the things that poetry has to offer. The staff is hopeful that people will honor and protect the poets and eventually this website may become their major outlet, a source of fine, rich poetry.

Copying poems in Floats is for members of Pivots and others to do freely. There must be no guilt here. This site is different from other sites where copying without paying for them is illegal.

However, the staff requests about a buck ($1.00) as a contribution for each one that is copied. A proportion of that goes to the authors and to the support of this web site. It's as low as sensible. It's the only way we know to help and to encourage the continuing productive work of rural artists for the personal enjoyment and rich experiences for people of the region.

We hope that some people will make special additional contributions (that are tax deductible) to this effort and to the objectives of Rural System, Inc. so that we can encourage poets, add more poems, become more secure, and advertise to reach more rural people and their talents.

Our way is cheap. Readers just download (copy by cutting and pasting into a new file or simply emailing it to yourself or someone else by clicking on the "send" button beside each poem).

It costs a poet $10 to add each poem to the site. They send a photo (a digital camera image) if they wish. An original picture or image related to the poem (e.g., a landscape) may also be submitted in lieu of the personal picture, one per poem. We do not retype poems. We discourage special spacing and configuration of lines. We recommend conventional poetic format.
Creating a new format for the culture of rural USA
All that a poet gets is seeing his or her poem available in public in a mysterious and rapidly growing and changing arena called poetry-in-transition. We know there is a revolution; we don't know what the landscape will look like afterwards. We think we are reducing risks for poets for the future.

They get a "publication" and a citation for their curriculum vitae and let people see their work. Thoughts and talents are no longer hidden.

Depending on the words, the phase of the moon, ... and a dozen other things, someone may especially like the poetry presented and seek other contacts. The site may provide recognition or encourage purchase of poetry published elsewhere. This may become a "sampling" place. Maybe they will make up an audience when poets read in public and at book signings. Maybe ... things will remain as they are and have always been for poets.

Planned offerings and components of the business:


Development cost - $20,000 Profits at the end of 6 years

The Products Group

It may be that some of the greatest financial gains for Rural System, Inc. will be made from within The Products Group. Some of the enterprise units within Rural System, Inc. have beautiful products, interesting things to sell, that can add profits and reduce the costs of achieving the objectives of the larger enterprise. Though not trees, animal, soil, water, or fish, the product sales contribute to the objective of the enterprise. They are part of the total system that is being managed. It contributes to profits so that a progressive, learning, improving system can be developed.

The Products Group works with elements of the total system. Not trying for "blue-chip" returns, the Group seeks reasonable returns but emphasizes large sales and very satisfied customers and low prices. The intent is to have people return or to encourage others to return. If they do not, then some of the objectives of Rural System, Inc. cannot be achieved. Products and crafts can enhance the overall experience and allow many benefits to be recalled and appreciated for many years.

One of the objectives is the good souvenir...a practical, useful, beautiful thing...not roadside junk. Superior equipment and supplies will enhance the experiences on the lands and waters. These include TV tapes of parts of the experience, some made with minicams.

Baits and aquaria are products of The Fishery and pelts a product of The Deer Group and are examples of items marketed and sold by The Products Group.

The Proposed Products

  1. Sourdough "starts" of several flavors.
  2. Computer optimized (for price, quality, and being bird-or-bird-group specific) bird food mixes are packaged and delivered.
  3. Rural Rocks, a special hard cookie for hikers, anglers, and everyone (especially school lunches).
  4. A specialty gift box for such cookies (short wood from thinnings, and solar dried).
  5. A unique walking stick has been designed. It has over 30 uses by people in the wildlands.
  6. A substance (now under discussion with Polymer Solutions of Blacksburg) useful in monitoring rates of decomposition in forests is to be sold. It has use for ecology classes and a variety of other ecosystem monitoring uses.
  7. A Soil Texture Solution for making rapid analyses in the field of soil texture components (sand, silt and clay).
  8. Flags that are likely to be prominent region-wide
  9. A square piece of material for attaching to a person's back (the big Bandana, described in ) is sold for assisting in game habitat surveys. (Other bandanas are sold.)
  10. A colorful autumn leaf-pickup cloth
  11. Bass Box, a hand-painted US Post Office mail box with post from the Pivotal Tracts
  12. Specialized spinning lures for fishing and sets of lures for tournaments
  13. The Seckey a device for evaluating some conditions of fishing waters
  14. Specialized outrigger fences for gardens and other areas
  15. Drums, drumming log devices for male ruffed grouse.
  16. Solar collector for energy to run a small pump to produce fountains in ponds (partially to prevent an ice layer forming, provide local aeration, and add an esthetic unit with novel secondary effects).
  17. GPSlips, packets of bright yellow tags used to mark places where grouse (and other animals) are observed. Later the tags are recovered by field workers and the GPS location recorded for GIS and habitat analyses.(Giles- April, 2000) (See GPSence)
  18. Course material (CD-ROM) for students of "Modern Wildlife Resource Management Systems. "
  19. Computer software
  20. Temperature maps (e.g., local plant hardiness)
  21. Opportunities for product development and sales exist with the woodchuck festival.

Marketing may be through Montana Forest Owners Association, developed to establish a specialty forest products exchange. It provides buyers and sellers of forestry products and services with an online marketplace. While it is oriented to Montana, it can be utilized by anyone in the U.S. Currently (2003) there are sellers listed from as far away as South Carolina.

The same building where some of these items are sold may include sale of permits, licenses, and entrance to the Avi courses and other events. Wireless computer access will be promoted.

Books, poems, art, and framed photographs and computer maps are offered. These are produced by several groups and include those recommended for reading that support the objectives of the System. Web site access may also be purchased and product advertising may gain some fees.

An e-chapbook for poems makes little money but increases the relevant audience, product loyalties, and may offer sales of various types. It opens an opportunity for regional profitable poetry conferences and readings.

Many products, some related to blueberries, are sold through The Gardens Group.

Hunting gear, fishing gear, hiking gear, tested outdoor clothing and equipment, and a limited variety of superior working clothing may be offered. (See Outfits.) Of course many people now want to wear colorful tee shirts. Special designs for high quality shirts will speak to the total concept of conservation, long-term use, and rational use of resources and appreciation for the wildlands. These, in addition, are an excellent advertising medium for Rural System, Inc. and the county and region.

Other crafts that are unique to the area will be explored. A small factory for producing signs, birdhouses and feeders and watering devices, and art objects from local, Certified Forest rough-cut and solar-cured woods will be created. Set-up and maintenance services (a new yard service; see The Garden Group) for these feeders and houses, birdbaths, and yard lighting that may be explored. These products will be coordinated with individual developers.


Startup costs are for staff and communications, vehicle, patents, etc. $50,000.

The Sculptors

Throughout the eastern US there are many woodcarving clubs. Thousands of people are "whittlers " but many have full-time professions as wood carvers, adorning churches, galleries, and public places. Many carve birds. Some carve and mold yard ornaments. Some work on duck decoys. Increasingly, wood carvers see themselves as sculptors using the medium of wood.

Rural System, Inc. proposes to create a new organization, Sculptors that will work to sponsor clubs, to give seminars, to publish a newsletter and aids on a web site, to have a chatroom, to conduct one or more schools within The Camps Group within the region, to sell quality solar-seasoned wood extracted from the Pivotal Tracts, to encourage hobby carving, to provide suggested patterns for work, to assemble carvers for large projects, and to conduct high-quality, family-oriented carving schools such as conducted in Austria.

  • Links with the other Rural System, Inc. units of The Camps Group, The Tours Group, The Gardens Group and The Products Group are noteworthy.

    Preliminary contacts have been made with Mr. Ed Merkel, 517 Craig Avenue. Lake City Florida, 32025. His help is appreciated as well as is the advice of Mr. W. Gaines Burnette, Atlanta, Georgia.


    Income is modest but memberships, commissions from tool, magazine, and product sales, and wood sales (nationally and internationally) may exceed expectations. Startup: $20,000

    developing GPS sales and service,
    the new sport of geocashing, and related activities

    GPSence (pronounced "G - P - essence") is a business related to all aspects of global-positioning satellites (GPS).

    GPSence is a new organization involved in all aspects of geocashing. It combines excitement, adventure, knowledge, and strategy. Typically each person is given a GPS unit with vital coordinates of a cache. The location is very precise. The individuals or team collaborate to find the cashes (hidden boxes, metal stakes, marked trees, etc.) The game may be played ...

  • for special bird watching from a blind at a site ( in early morning with results reported to the web site and special observations to NatureSeen )
  • Autumn leaf color viewing points will be presented as special seasonal event.
  • Participation in slope and aspect analyses for improving GIS databases will be offered as a special project.
  • The Stoneworms, developing and maintaining trails, will provide GPS point locations along many trails, both for location as well as for the sport of hiking and finding (and being recorded as one who has completed the trail) all of the spots along official trails of the enterprise.
  • GPSence will arrange creative team-building events for businesses, agencies, and organizations. Two-day events are arranged with The Wildland Crew
  • GPSence will also arrange GPS equipment introductions and workshops.
  • (a recurring theme is that litter that is found will be removed along the routes to and from the cashes).

    GPSence is an organization and an activity using GPS units to find treasures. Sites are specified with exact coordinates and members seek out these sites using the GPS to discover the treasure there. It may be physical, a code, a piece of a puzzle, a direction to another location, or instructions about activities at or nearby the site. It provides a web site for members and introductions and education for new members. It starts with activities within western Virginia, then expands as much as possible, even internationally, especially within the interests of geocashing generally.

    It sells and rents GPS units. Official games use units provided by the organization. It sells and rents various equipment, clothing, bandannas, and supplies for treasure hunting and the pleasure of group membership. It has sub-groups of people with various interests ...

    There are many projects available to members ...
    One hundred permanent numbered markers are placed within the County. Members may hunt these at any time and it may take years to visit them all. It can become a contest for some, a pastime for others. With honesty rules (as in golf) there is no overview, simply the rule that to gain credit for a code number or name at each location provided by the organization, a person (a member) must have personally (or in a team) found the site using a GPS unit. Scenes from each site are available so that choices can be made. A list of successful members (with number of treasures found) will be posted on the web site.

    With The Stables Group...

    The Electronic Trail
    A strategy for finding a site, even if it is precisely known (using precise equipment ... but field work involves using only hand-held relatively inexpensive units of limited accuracy), is part of treasure hunting. This becomes very interesting and challenging if the trip includes only members on horseback.

    Some programs require that a digital camera be used to photograph the site and that is returned before a stated time as evidence of having reached the treasure. Prizes are given in such events ... real treasure.
    Plant Collection
    Widespread plant collection is needed. Points are selected using GIS to locate places where there is yet-unknown plant life. Members find the site and collect plant samples and return them for identification and permanent storage

    It also works with the ponds group and the Silver Waters group of The Fishery.

    An affiliate of Trimble gps products, Earth Vector Systems, and GPSOutfitters have been contacted to begin exploring potentials.

    Early thought is for using Garman or Magellan GPS units for field work (and accuracies to within about 30 feet), renting a major unit for short periods to get precise locations for major or permanent points, then to purchase major units (high accuracy) for future uses.

    Robert H. Giles, Jr., August 24, 2002 based on ideas from Mr. Brad Rimbey of Tampa, Florida, and Mr. York Grow, Charlottesville, Virginia.


    Development cost is $50,000

    Inquire: The Unified Laboratory

    Within Rural System, Inc. the word "research " is rarely used. The Staff are users of the results of studies and investigations. Research means many things, even to one person. Too many! The concept used is that of building a knowledge base and that can be done in many ways. Inputs are needed for decisions. The better the quality of the input, the better. Classical science is one way to gain inputs...but only one way, and perhaps over weighted. The staff continues to explore alternatives such as expert estimates, alternative probability theory and new concepts of confidence and risk-taking, game theory, simulation, genetic algorithms for optimization (of sampling), area- and volume-proportional sampling, Wolfram "new science " and the rationally robust paradigm. (A suggested site for the latest research information is the journal Nature.)

    Early in the development of the Rural System, Inc. there will be little (or no) formal research. Later, staff will be encouraged to identify important topics and to seek alternative ways to obtain improved answers for them. Badgersett Research Farm in Minnesota presents an alternative worthy of study. Studies will typically be formulated with assistance where, feasible, from Virginia Tech Faculty and elsewhere. Where funds for studies may be gained, staff will support the efforts, contribute where possible, and when the initiator, will seek to gain the typical overhead fees usually associated with agency or foundation grants.

    The staff are mindful of comments such as those in IITA Research #8, March 1994 which said of National Agricultural Research groups that to be most effective as partners must find mechanisms to identify priorities in constraints, research problems and training needs, allocate resources and responsibilities among themselves, and increasingly measure success in terms of outcomes. If they do not, the continued erosion of donor support is inevitable.

    A Unified Laboratory can serve all of the units of the Rural System, Inc. and to sell services locally. Perhaps affiliation with or parallel work with Matson's Laboratory, LLC , Montana, and other labs might be arranged. Matson's, for example, determines the age of deer and bear from tooth-annuli and tetracycline markers.

    Stability of service, rapid response, avoiding the "stored and lost " field collections, modern equipment, rapid statistical analyses, easy movement of information to GIS, "seizing the opportunity " rather than missing the knowledge in an event - they are the products and contributions of the Unified Lab.

    It works to develop and improve Ecorods a soil change and decomposition measurement substance proposed as a product to be marketed.

    It does analyses for The Goat System (milk, nutrition, blood, and also relations of goats to deer and evaluates use of goats as an experimental animal and as a deer surrogate) and The Goose Flock.

    It arranges for genetic analyses (DNA, etc.) of regional species and subspecies; meta population analyses; and for Safety and Security work.

    There are 28 "biodiversity " laws (1995). Many people want to know what is on their land. Surveys are costly, poorly done, unbalanced (e.g., emphasizing expert knowledge of birds, nothing about reptiles). Many plans need them; environmental impact assessments and statements need them. We have developed techniques for meaningful rapid studies with statistical expressions and automated reports. We'll maintain a small crew and market this service for military bases, private landowners, corporations, and state and federal lands. This is a new "assault force " concept - a team arrives on a target area with a preliminary computer report (regional database), computer maps, a statistical sampling strategy on a GIS, a set of tested sampling procedures, a timing strategy, and a report well-grounded in statistical theory, ecology, and the law. A survey crew operates out of the Unified Lab. In "down time " (weather, etc.), databases are developed, techniques perfected, software and report improvements prepared.

    The lab automates soil analyses and produces a unique, very comprehensive report from a soil sample and associated data. Future work may include developing a Novosoil, an amendment for garden and trail-side soils (related to the Walnut Vales). Specialty combinations of wastes for select purposes may be designed in the future. Some of the wastes may be used for heating. Ash, tested, may become part of the new soil for select areas.

    The design is for a rapid, cost-effective system that maximized information per unit effort and user cost, and achieves a modest profit. This project employs local people, uses local on-site expert knowledge and equipment, uses expert systems theory, and produces a unique report for each sample (The Trevey concept applied at a very small scale.) Rather than wait for samples to arrive, the lab, through System Central, markets intensively the system and services. The unique hand-held field computer is used with GPS to produce maps and reports that pay-off in fertilizer/lime savings for the average farm, or other area in 2 years. A CD-ROM on soil ecology will be produced as part of the marketing strategy.

    It assists in the Butterfly Band, the entomology group.

    It creates an automated food habits analysis function and markets this service after serving the Wild Turkey Group.

    Secondary chemicals are recognized as major new factors influencing food digestibility in grouse, deer, and other animals. Improving these analyses so that forage analyses (precise metabolizable energy, calcium, phosphorous, and nitrogen) can be made and mapped in the GIS will provide indispensable knowledge for superior management and ultimately a national leadership role.

    Water analyses for The Fishery, especially those for pH, phosphorous, colors, and sediments, will be invaluable. It calibrates the Seckeys sold by The Products Group.

    New heat and pressure processing developed at Va. Tech will be used to "explode " walnut hulls and waste seeds (grape), tannins etc. extracted, and materials developed as a trail and roadside organic herbicide.

    A specialty product useful in getting an index to the rate of decomposition and nutrient cycling in ecosystems is in the design stage (see Ecorods below). It has potential for a variety of sales in the future and these will enhance the financial base of the Group and Rural System, Inc. Novosoils will grow to provide computer-based soil analyses, county level soil maps, and a series of soils for in-place gardens. Advice will become available for difficult restoration areas. Special programs will become available for mined-land restoration but initial work is concentrated on the grounds, gardens, and roadsides. Temperature and pressure-expanded materials (chips, walnut hulls and leaf-collections) will be studied as soil components.

    An energy production component for geothermal heat pumps may be offered, one that utilized Earth-heat as well as the heat from decomposing products...and maintains the heat of decomposing beds at a desired level throughout the year.

    Some support for local food suppliers and kitchens will provide baseline monitoring and reduce insurance-related claims and judgments.

    Summer volunteers, planned "university independent studies, " and a university graduate student camp (a "tent city ") near the lab will allow creative, directed, knowledge base work to proceed. The Lab cannot fund many projects but can offer:

    1. meaningful projects
    2. a chance to make a difference within the world of nature and the environment and for personal efforts to be used
    3. a chance to work in an educational environment
      • to continue learning
      • to combine lab and some field work
      • to learn diverse methods
      • to improve an employment resumé

    The Lab contains a coffee room designed to encourage serious, prolonged, knowledge-base-building conversations. (This is not a seminar area.)

    The Wired Ecosystem
    Many studies have been conducted of ecosystems and monitoring of temperature and other factors is well known and abundantly used. The Wired Ecosystem is not a study area. It is a small learning space. Data are rarely recorded (and left for later analysis which is rarely done or done well) in this place. It is a place where people interested in and educated about ecology can come to "see " the ecosystem. It is equivalent to a microscope, showing what the unaided eye cannot see...all at once.

    "You are here, now " is a spot on the floor when you enter and the "now " signifies the temporal dimension that stretches out across one side of the room with world time zones, geologic time periods, and scale relations for the recent period and that since the end of the Pleistocene. Time since twilight is augmented with cumulative degree-days in the year and growing period.

    A wall of monitors and oscilloscopes display:

    1. Stream flow
    2. Stream depths
    3. Temperatures throughout the area and in many layers of the forest
    4. Wind directions and velocities
    5. Precipitation, evaporation pan levels, and soil moisture
    6. Barometric pressure
    7. Cumulative radiation
    8. A forest view through an ultra-violet filter
    9. An infra red view
    10. Automated dendrometer readings
    11. Gross movements within the area (mammals, birds, etc.)
    12. National weather data are seen from a web site
    13. Other active national data banks are addressed.

    The working concept or objectives for the place are to help people know about the wired or well-automated ecosystem, to comprehend the multidimensional nature of the place, to formulate hypotheses about relationships seen, and to evaluate the probably usefulness of sampling. This is a place for observers, for watchful patience. This is where the "land doctor " of Aldo Leopold might be able to see a "work-up " on the "land patient. " This is not unlike a NASA analysis of a distant landscape using sensors or many types and trying to understand the land without humans being present or doing destructive sampling.

    It can be used as an educational space. It can be a specialized tourist attraction. It is a place where a few can learn about ecological monitoring and information display. Automated flyovers of the GIS-depicted 3-D area are continuously shown on a large screen. These are from various directions, season, and with topography shown in various scales. Some simulations (e.g., fire; climate change) are also shown (or are available) on request.

    See Wildlife Study Designs \(April 2001, 255 pages, Springer-Verlag, ISBN 0-387-95118-0, $69.95), by Michael L. Morrison, William M. Block, M. Dale Strickland, and William L. Kendall).


    Estimated development costs.....$150,000 Estimated profits after 5 years...


    Concept: Ecorods are a small plastic items for sale. They are of a known weight and when placed in an ecosystem are "decomposed" by soil organisms. The rate of change is an index to the vitality of the system. It is useful in ecosystem education, research, for evaluating progress in cleanup, and for expressing before/after effects of water discharge, pesticides, radioactive fallout, or pollution.

    Under design by Giles since 1970, the product has not been patented. A project fpr the product is under study by Polymer Solutions, Inc. of Blacksburg. The Products Group of the Rural System, Inc. would then market the product which has use in ecology education, forest monitoring, use of pesticides (before/after analyses), waste area clean-up and reclamation, and in many other situations (even ruminant animal digestion studies). Product development is Year 1; field use in first half of Year 2; then marketing.

    The Fauna File

    The Fauna File will get Rural System, Inc. into some trouble, but it will be worth the exposure, and it might revolutionize and help prepare the way for a progressive future of sophisticated management of the wild faunal resource. It may be heritical.

    The File is a place for writers to place articles that they do not care to submit to the journals of the Wildlife Society. It is an alternative, hardly a competitor. All articles voluntarily submitted go on the site and there are no reviews. It is a place where rejected manuscripts can be submitted and stored. It holds the premise that most things in the field of wild animal resource management are unique or are expressions of equifinality. They are rarely genuinely subject to the standards and principles of laboratory or agricultural science. There are few if any "peers" with wild animal population conditions that are unique. Mastering a population takes years of costly, dedicated work; it is meaningless to expect equal mastery by someone else of singular situations thus no peer.

    Observations and descriptions have often been excluded from the current publications. Brevity is honored. Costs are excessive. High publication costs equal or exceed costs of the research itself, often preventing publication (or announcing poor budget planning). The files of wildlife agencies and their employees are full of publications and notes, lost or unavailable to the working community. Standards for publication have become excessive. Good work can often be prevented from publication by an editor or group due to allocations of pages to topics or to decided page limits. Papers undergo excessive review, are rejected for inadequate sample sizes, or failure to use a particular statistical analysis. Many that are published are filled with principle-component ambiguities and lack actionable conclusions. The Wildlife Society, straining to be "scientific," has for years excluded sociological, political, law enforcement, and educational topics. It once rejected papers on computer applications! It fails to admit to several epistemological bases of knowledge and due to costs, excludes most photographs of complex ecosystems. Its Bulletin, established for managerial topics, is slightly different from the Journal itself. Managerial observations are rare. Cost data are scant. Evaluations of demand, risks, longterm costs, and fluctuating productivity missing. Means for saving money, reducing losses, or reducing risks are missing.

    Faunal Files seeks to be the depository for a new wave of information sharing. Little time is spent on editing or revising manuscripts. The senders knows that their name and reputation will be associated with the material avaailable to be judged.

    Members of the Wildlife Society, already pledging to "do science" and to "do biology," are encouraged to seek alternatives and at least to find and report simple known paired relationships (to "do elementary ecology").Elements of Wolfram's A New Kind of Science will be persistent questions for authors.

    Key words are included with each article so that computer searches can be made on text as well as on potentially-related topics.

    Faunal File seeks to complete the scientific process that, for some, ends in the sharing of the results with others.

    Responding to assertions and questions of "too much information?" workers with the File simply suggest reading faster, scanning, and using the key word capability of the the File. There is extremely high cost of classical file storage space (at least an investment of $175 per square foot of built floor space). The Internet offers more information now than can be read on almost any major topic, thus the utility of the classical library declines. Few in wildlife work read avidly; more reading is needed, at least that equivalent to the expert medical doctor who subscribes to many journals (vs the 1-2 available within the wildlife field).

    The first entries will be that for the rationally robust and cross currents.

    Costs will be requested for each submission (approximately $1 per page) and contributions that will help sustain the File and its server. CD's will be made available at a modest price.

    The activity by a part-time worker is believed to be break-even, with added value in marketing and advertisement.

    The Safety and Security Group

    Augmenting public and private services of a wide variety, The Safety and Security Group seeks to improve the quality of life in the region through creative services in the area of safety and personal and property security. There is widespread recognition of the sparse resources typically available for such work in rural areas. The work will include crime prevention, home and land protection services, education to affect local perceptions of crime and safety, assistance in law enforcement, assistance in search and rescue missions, reduction of trespass and vandalism, fire and safety inspection, select legal unity contacts, security and safety sections of comprehensive planning systems (The Trevey), superior hunting and angling safety programs, training and publications in all of the above. It also works closely with the Fire Force and includes select laboratory analyses supportive of the above, as well as GIS applications (e.g., viewing zones and search-and-rescue probability) and clandestine missions.

    This is an innovative group within the region, progressing along lines of available expertise, costs of services, and ability to expand to meet needs.


    It is a system with objectives of:

    1. minimize lost-people events
    2. minimize stress of lost-people events minimize costs of lost-people. events maximize regional citizen perception of security within the region minimize house and structural fires
    3. minimize estimated monetary losses from house and structural fires minimize burn victims
    4. minimize estimated occurrence of high-valued game and fish law violations minimize vandalism events
    5. minimize estimated monetary costs of recovery from vandalism events maximize citizen knowledge of natural-resource-related law
    6. minimize perceived risks of back-country attacks.


    Computer systems will be used in innovative ways. These include risk-level maps, client location maps, ownership, flight patterns (aircraft search), wildlife zones and search access, potential violation zones, and (with the Fire Force) fire control access times and selecting optimum staging sites..

    Computer analysis services will be offered to regional and other agencies. Software for field computers will be developed. (A preliminary, comprehensive list is available. Staff works with citizen advisory work will complete the list.)

    A section in The Trevey will be developed and dynamically improved.

    A database on certain people and areas will be maintained.

    Research protocols will be developed relating to input systems for enforcement and security groups

    Visits and inspections made for clients will be held in one database.


    Little money is made from "education" but The Safety and Security Group practice involves it in unusual ways, often as a public-relations cost of business. The strategies include:

    1. Reducing reported crime-generating conditions in the region
    2. Preventing crime,crime stimulus, and opportunity
    3. Uning adjusted and baseline crime rate reporting
    4. Positive feedback to citizens ("we're better off than last year")
    5. Knowledge of the law (inadvertent violations)
    6. Protection (locks, lights, etc.)
    7. Deterrence (visible presence, signs, rumors, reported arrests)
    8. Group action (e.g., community watches)
    9. Coordination and leadership (as in fire fighting and search crews)
    10. Apprehension, arrest, and court presentation
    11. Reconstruction
      • physical (as from vandalism)
      • personal (service time with convicted people through work with the courts)
    12. Research
    13. Adaptive change

    Each of these has many combinations and permutations of techniques, only that are discussed here.

    We operate on the basis of several theories of crime causation (Giles, 1989). The first is that some people are in deep poverty and have real needs and will eventually steal to get them. We develop (with others) select programs to assist (e.g., supply deer meat). Other people (another causative mechanism at work) seek excitement. We develop activities for them (escape/evasion outdoor challenge courses (Novosports; Poachers Anonymous; etc.)

    Others do not know the law. We educate in selective ways.

    Protection is developed for cabins, farms, forest lands in area- and owner-specific ways. These include locks, window barriers, lights, signs, etc. Inspection visits are used. (Automatic alarm systems signaling a remote dispatcher are not contemplated as part of the service at this time.)

    Boundary marking, education, and inspection (with apprehensions) are likely to help to keep timber trespass in check.

    A strategy to reduce vandalism is available and included within The Trevey

    A superior regional "hot-shot" fire fighting crew (Fire Force) will be developed. It may serve other regions. It may relate well to the excitement and life-structure needed by some potential violators.

    Hunter safety will be emphasized with public announcements, e.g., "x-thousand hunter-hours without an accident."

    Hunter safety drama groups will be encouraged for entertainment, as well as for education. Hunter distribution may be use to increase safety.

    Enforcement within The Deer Group and The Fishery will support The Pest Force. A quality set of publications will be produced.

    Training will be needed.

    Dogs will be used in tracking, education, and demonstrations (see The Dogs Group).

    Insurance group support will be sought for the safe hunter or angler (trained and with rates decreasing with safe behavior).

    With hunters declining, emphasis is on outdoor user, hikers, etc. and desired behavior (that without costs to landowners).


    We need personal rewards. These will be studied. Annual reports to customers... "x-days without disruption" may suffice. Citizens need to know about improvements made.

    "Thermometer" on the green at each area of the Pivotal Tracts or other properties may help express progress. We have to clarify objectives. For example, not working for "arrests" but "arrests for high-valued crime" is the direction, then we may include costs and effort of achieving each objective related to prevention.

    Stability in the program will be difficult. There is little research; much is service- and public-relations-related; much is innovative. Awareness of the need will assist in reducing costs and gaining clients.


    The region is changing. Baseline data are needed so we do not look like we are "causing" problems since our measures may get worse, not due to us, but due to changing socioeconomic factors. We need to express changes made within many sub-groups since the number in the sub-group may change faster than the factors we are trying to change. We need to issue news releases on our views of the future, sponsor university essays, etc.

    Security and Safety Ideas

    1. Computer-based foot, horse, and mobile patrols
    2. Computer monitoring of teenager-driven vehicles to promote safe driving and reduce local accident rates and deaths (Contact: Automobile Club of New York, Robert Sinclair, Jr., Manager of public information, Office: 516/873-2258, E-mail:; relate through The 4 x 4 Group
    3. Boat safety and anti-violation education with tours
    4. Protective signs
    5. Land boundary marking (re trespass)
    6. Property survey and scoring with suggestions for improved safety
    7. Free entrance to annual crime-stopper fair
    8. Patrols with dogs by uniformed staff
    9. Wildlife law enforcement leadership
    10. Sponsor an 800-phone line; Develop (or support) an extra contact when in need - a hot-line
    11. Strategic staff-efforts to reduce crime and fear of crime in the region
    12. Law education
    13. Access to low-cost security and safety equipment and its installation
    14. Security system sales and management (group purchases)
    15. Lighting services
    16. Random patrols
    17. Speakers group
    18. Sponsored research
    19. Court officers included in tours
    20. Annual regional crime report
    21. Neighborhood crime-watch organizations
    22. Fire prevention checks and scoring
    23. Intensive newspaper work
    24. Fire Force rapid response unit
    25. Work with private detectives
    26. Insurance benefits - premium based on attending a safety school and record

    Other ideas and developments...

    1. Insurance photo and records (bonded)
    2. Mysterious/clandestine action and show of force
    3. Distribute "obey the rules" cards (to reduce amazing ignorance of the law) and game-playing cards "Youth program work (including wards of the courts)
    4. Distribute safety "card game" and develop one for the Internet
    5. Make maps of problem occurrences
    6. Cooperative work (studies and research) with other law-related agencies, including bringing research results to the region
    7. Study distributions, and develop predictive models
    8. Back-of-truck demonstrations
    9. Literature search
    10. Sponsor rewards
    11. Self-defense education
    12. Safety clothing design and sale (Outfits)
    13. Make restaurant and meat locker checks for illegal wild fish and game products and have a "certified legal" sign
    14. Handgun safety and education including supervised firing range work
    15. Hunting safety and education
    16. Work with taxidermists to reduce work with illegal animals
    17. Affiliate with The Stables Group

    Ideas for a Safe and Secure Fair This is a special fair held in the region, perhaps along with a related activity, and one devoted to slowing or stopping crime and reducing life stresses and costs of living

    1. food
    2. knowledge of the law contests
    3. guns demonstrations
    4. equipment (e.g., night goggles) and books
    5. contests: (1) who can find most security violations; (2) who can find most fire violations; (card game championships (see above)
    6. humorous skits showing safety and other problems and possible solutions
    7. hand-to hand combat demo and dog attacks
    8. trespass signs
    9. game law enforcement booth and trail to teach the law
    10. "problem" drop box
    11. "leads" drop box
    12. computer demo
    13. camouflage demonstration and viewers' game (find the stalker)
    14. fire fighting demo
    15. fire-fighting squirt-can contest
    16. demo of other Rural System, Inc. services


    Development costs: $120,000. Profits:

    Belles and Whistles

    Belles and Whistles is an organization of women interested in using family vehicles, cars, vans, and small trucks, safely and cost effectively over the long term. Of course being interested in scenery and driving pleasure, and having interest in energy conservation, their main interests are in learning the fundamentals of car maintenance and elementary repair. Having control over their major mode of transportation, protecting their jobs, providing for the needs of their family or children, making timely arrivals, and diversifying their interests - these are all parts of the Group orientation and purpose. Now that there are many broken marriages, many single women, and life styles are changing rapidly, car maintenance and repair is no longer a "man's role."

    Knowing what's under the hood - understanding some of the bells and whistles - and knowing what to do to keep a car running are key objectives of every car owner/operator, especially women. Knowing what to do when the car or small truck stops is important to them. The rural or wildland interest is that of gaining control over one part of the total outdoor experience, being sure that it is pleasant, and avoiding the nagging fear of being caught far from the main road and not knowing what to do with a small automotive difficulty. This fear, of course, can exist anywhere. Eliminating it is one objective of the group and one reason for its existence. There may be substantial financial gains as well as positive attachments for a segment of the populations to all of the concerns of Rural System, Inc.

    Local dealerships or shops may sponsor the group, provide spaces, and gain major public relations advantages.

    The main group activities suggested are:

    1. Regular evening and weekend school sessions (tuition)
    2. Specialized classes
    3. Field Trips to local mechanics and places of interest
    4. Group trips (caravans) to scenic areas
    5. Irregular conferences or entire-group meetings with invited speakers, police, movies, etc.
    6. Equipment and supplies sales with local stores (with discounts for members)
    7. Sale of the ultimate minimum tool kit for travel
    8. Subscription to key publications (with discounts and/or organization benefits)
    9. Group checkups - meeting in which a members car is "gone over" by members to be sure it is safe and can avoid maintenance difficulties
    10. Contests for members (diagnostic, performance, etc., written, etc.) with prizes
    11. Road and driving safety contests (written or oral)
    12. Local safe-driving contests
    13. Relevant video sales
    14. Software for drivers (tests, advice, expert systems, car purchase decisions, driver games; commercial or to be designed and developed)
    15. Child/youth seat sales and installation
    16. Website with advertising - helpful tips, notices, reminders
    17. Sale of coveralls, cleaners, gloves, etc.,
    18. Sale of membership emblems (clothing, bumper, window)
    19. Car wash (with membership discount)
    20. Sale of car security information and systems
    21. Checkups for proposed used-car purchase (fees)
    22. Work with The 4 x 4 Group
    23. Access to benefits of all the other Rural System, Inc. groups

    The Barriers to Women Working with Cars and Small Trucks
    Once the barriers are clearly seen, then they can be broken.

    1. Lack of female role models
    2. Expense of equipment
    3. Past or existing male role models
    4. Social pressure from peers
    5. Pressure from mechanics, etc. that see this as a man's job
    6. Raised in a "non-rough-work" tradition
    7. Turned off by "slob" experiences
    8. Lack of information
    9. Lack of time
    10. Perception that the work is dangerous
    11. Perception that the work is always dirty
    12. Fear of looking stupid
    13. Fear that the costs will be too great
    14. Fear that the results will be poor and very costly
    15. Fear of seeming to compete with men
      (or Fear of seeming to compete with a single special person)
    16. Lack of a place to work
    17. Refusal to work where mechanics now work
    18. Fear of injury
    19. Not strong enough
    20. Vanity

    Send suggestions for others to Giles. He'll include your name if you wish.

    The Strategies to Breach the Barriers

    Suggestions and contacts are requested.


    Development = $40,000

    Estimated gains:

    Fire Force

    Forest fires are commonplace and widespread. Record-setting fires have occurred in 2002 and expert fire fighters and fire management planning are needed. Lightning starts many fires, but people start others accidentally and some set by arsonists. The fires can be viewed as threats to life, health, and welfare. Other views are available such as those about ecosystem functions, monetary loss, and community collapse. Wildfires are natural and expected. However controlling such fires is essential. Preventing person-caused fire is needed, but little is done.

    Recently-gained knowledge about wildland fire acknowledges fire is natural and needed for certain types of plant and animal communities to survive. Plant species extinction is certain unless there is fire (see The Plant People). Fuel build-up resulting from fire prevention has resulted in changed conditions and hotter, more destructive fires than ever occurred in nature. There has been recognized that in well-analyzed areas, fires of particular types need to be prescribed. Fire can be a powerful tool, in fact the only tool available, to meet certain wildland needs. It may be the only force in nature that meets certain natural system requirements (those systems having evolved with fire). In other cases, it is the only one that can be used cost effectively to achieve the changes needed over broad areas. Each fire, no matter how it starts, needs to be assessed in terms of land conditions, management objectives, treatment potentials, resource values, costs, and potential damage. (See other materials.)

    Fire is difficult to discuss, for it seems to be a natural human enemy and destructive. It may be a powerful human tool and, used properly, the only way to achieve creatively desired future wildland conditions. Coordinating local federal, county, city, and state activities, using research results, and controlling costs is badly needed.

    To control its destructive forces, effective fire fighting is needed. To prevent and suppress human-caused fires, effective behavioral change is needed. To use fire, knowledgeable experts need to prescribe it accurately in time and space. All of this needs to be done cost-effectively and skillfully within the changing laws and mores of this society.

    It cannot be done by unstable agencies or by inexperienced people or without a growing knowledge base. Knowledge will not grow at the rates needed from classical scientific studies, but by new efforts at creating expert systems and by developing a select, well-trained team of specialists with modern tools and technology and integrating the knowledge of wildland fires so hard-won by past researchers and fire-fighters. The new wildlands, often intermixed with human settlement, create complex problems that require computer-supported decision-making.

    To achieve some of the above concepts, to meet some of the needs, and to expand to address problems and needs not yet clearly seen, The Fire Force needs to be created. The Fire Force is an expression of how wildfire will be prevented or controlled for maximum long-term benefits to people. It reduce the deaths, property damage, fire fighting costs, and frustrations that occur when people lose control. Adaptive mechanisms are proposed for keeping The Fire Force vital and responsive to changing conditions and knowledge about fire and its role in achieving the objectives of Rural System, Inc.

    The Fire Force is a group for diverse fire prevention, control, and management for the Pivotal Tracts, other ownerships, and throughout the region. Its objectives are:

    1. To reduce to a standard estimated financial loss (current rates; 50-year horizon) from fires of all types
    2. To reduce to zero annual personal injuries and loss of life from fires
    3. To reduce costs of prevention and suppression of fires
    4. To reduce to a minimum-standard the number of reported fires requiring official suppression response
    5. To develop an ecosystem response simulation model and fire behavior prediction model for the region.
    6. To develop skillful prescriptive fire applications

    Intensive use of GIS and GPS will enhance our new work and provide an opportunity for world-class demonstrations of practical GIS use. Many Army Rangers and Navy Seals can be recruited for this work and a select team with the attitudes and experience of these forces will allow a fire-fighting force with daily education ("learning the plays"), team building, and a high calling to be successful where others have failed.

    The Fire Force will not only provide a sophisticated fire fighting crew for the land, but will create a fire system, one that (1) uses fire creatively, (2) prevents fires, (3) serves other landowners for a fee, (4) serves other resource areas presently owned, and (5) conducts education and demonstrations for visitors.

    Planning elements include:

    1. Using fire as a management tool.
    2. Making decisions about each fire, natural or prescribed; treat each as a unique entity.
    3. Forests are not classified as natural, wild, controlled, or prescribed. Each is unique.
    4. Using fires to achieve objectives of the area.
    5. Suppressing fires that result in new losses in R value (a scoring procedure for rural land quality).
    6. Allowing fires to burn if they increase R value.
    7. Suppressing fires that threaten life, cultural resources, physical facilities, success in endangered species management or are likely to incur high future suppression costs.
    8. Suppressing lightning-caused or "natural fires" in wilderness or natural areas when soil moisture and conditions will not develop the high-intensity fires needed to cause stand replacement or the low-intensity fires capable of removing fuel loads.
    9. Developing grazed firebreaks where possible.
    10. Integrating existing software.
    11. Developing computer aids for the field force.
    12. Working with insurance agencies to improve corporate profits and improve citizen rates. This includes fire prevention, building codes, inspections, education and incentives and other strategies.
    13. Demonstrating at local shows and events the attacks of simulated wild fires. The crew trains regularly, works on trails, and engages in physical-conditioning sports that promote the region, Novosports, and the Security and Safety Group.
    14. Using a vast literature on fires and fire fighting developed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. A planned series of consultations with recently retired members of the BLM and U.S. Forest Service will capture some of the knowledge of that depressed group of people.
    15. Responding to agency reductions in force that have produced a need for experienced staff.
    16. Improving building materials, grounds maintenance, paint, structure shape and surfaces, all tested and developed to affect fire occurrence, magnitude and losses. They employ a specialized system of firebreaks.
    17. Designing and maintaining structures to reduce fire hazards and fire spread (Moore 1981). residents escaping urban America have fueled one of the nation's highest growth rates - and posed a dilemma for firefighters faced with protecting them from the inevitability of wildland fires.
    18. The result, fire officials said, is that firefighters facing furious wildfires in 13 states have had to deploy resources around the increasing number of rural residential developments and leave most of the wildland fires not threatening homes to burn -- perhaps for months.
    19. "It's very simple. We do not have sufficient resources to protect structures and take containment action on the fires," Steve Frye, incident commander for the massive complex of fires burning south of Darby, Montana., said over the weekend. (August, 2000) "One of the take-home messages is that development in the urban-wildland interface has complicated significantly the job of fighting large wildland fires."
    20. Mapping past fires.
    21. Creating predictive models of fire spread.
    22. Experimenting with fire-lines (e.g., use of leaf blowers) and superior equipment systems developed.
    23. Emphasizing prescribed burns. These burns will be well planned, legal, and will be done on contract but also with education and demonstration. These can be exciting memorable events and key moments of learning. They can be tied to succession, wildlife relations, and watershed management.
    24. Working with arsonists, giving attention to work forces and unemployment and strategies used to intercept or prevent such action. Threats, displays of force, and drama involving what happens to arsonists may be considered. Period (annual) displays of equipment and action-packed work will be made at schools and county meetings.
    25. Emphasizing air quality (all aspects) especially smoke management in prescribed burning. Developing models (with GIS base). Comprehensive ecosystem response to fire over time will be part of the studies. We seek knowledge of fire so it can be used with surgical precision to achieve computer-aided decided conditions over time (50 years). All are related needs in other units, e.g., wildlife, forestry, watersheds, and recreation.
    26. Working with the courts to develop a "community service" function. (Working with convicted people in meaningful activities may provide new experiences and positive effects for them.)
    27. Making ecotourism displays or events for their potential (education, attraction, trail work, fire breaks, the "experience factor," etc.).

    This Fire Force includes a "hot shot" fire-fighting group (already existing in the West) but much more. They train daily, not only physically but also in all of the realms of fire - prevention, control, prescriptions, effects analyses, ecology, modeling, behavioral change, arson, air pollution, smoke control, and climatic relations. The group meets the profound requirements of Rural System, Inc. - to understand its past and to re-shape it for meeting the future needs. It may soon provide fire-fighting service, flying anywhere within a region to meet needs for large or critical fires.

    They provide an educational and demonstration crew for people who come to learn of a total fire system and to gain continuing involvement and membership (education, service, staff training, demonstrations, research findings, computer software, arson work, sources and select equipment supply, consultation, internet service, and others). The educational and service functions fill the previously unmet problems of "seasonal work" for superior fire fighters. Within Rural System, Inc. there are unlimited needs for meaningful physical work of some of the staff (e.g., trail building and maintenance, patrols, surveys and inventories, equipment development, experimental burns, etc.).

    Fire Force profits and its continuance are found in:

    Egging et al. (1980) said that fire is a factor often overlooked in planning for managing wildland resources. "It can be either devastating to or supportive of a planned management strategy." They claimed that fire considerations should be woven throughout the entire wildland system, including how they may influence the future system. The Fire Force is proposed as an effective means to assist in shaping that future and being creatively responsible to the future system.

    The Fire Force, to our knowledge, does not exist. Based on staff experience in the military, in fire fighting, in land management, in ecological research, and in computer applications, it is needed and it can be created. It can "harvest" the investments of equipment developers, programmers, and scientists over the past 75 years. Over an area the expected size of the region, prescribed fire is needed to shape the area and achieve certain objectives consistently for 200 years. Also, effective fire control is needed, maintaining a superior, elite "waiting crew" is expensive and difficult. In the system proposed, the crew is learning, training, staying physically "ready", assisting in other Forest operations, and educating groups - all at "break-even" or at profit. (Insurance and protection values seem incalculable.)

    A copied article from the Federal Diary, August 11, 2000, suggests the relevance of the above proposed group:

    Events Overtake Efforts to Bolster Wilderness Firefighting Forces

    by Stephen Barr

    Five years ago, after a tough season of wildfires, U.S. Forest Service planners looked for ways to improve and expand the agency's firefighting ability. As one of their more ambitious goals, the planners called for 75 percent of the agency's work force to be trained and available to help out during fire emergencies by 2000. It turned out to be an unrealistic goal.

    There are no easy explanations for why the Forest Service missed its goal, which was set well before agency planners found themselves confronting this year's blazes--in the worst wildfire season in 50 years. (Halfway through the fire season, more than 4 million acres have burned at a cost of $325 million.)

    But a few factors suggest why the Forest Service, as well as other agencies responsible for wilderness firefighting, are short of experienced hands. The Forest Service work force dropped by 21 percent from 1991 to 1998. It was one of numerous federal agencies caught up in budget cuts and downsizing. That meant fewer employees in timber programs, which historically supplied trained volunteers for firefighting duties.

    Over time, the Forest Service work force has started to gray. By last year, 57 percent of employees were 45 or older. That has put a large number of employees within range of retirement, particularly those eligible for a firefighter retirement at age 50.

    Some Forest Service officials also think the "culture" of the agency has changed. Fewer employees want to work on the fire line, sleep in the dirt and breathe smoke day after day. Some are single parents, who must care for their children, and others prefer to keep their weekends free for recreation and family. In addition to a smaller and older work force, the Forest Service, a part of the Agriculture Department, faced problems common to the public land management agencies in the Interior Department.

    Large fires of the summer of 2002 and unusual political pressures for salvage logging have created unusual, unstable conditions within state and federal fire fighting agencies and their policies.

    Estimates Development costs for equipment and staff, high, are well-distributed by staff and training activities throughout Rural System, Inc. groups. They are estimated at $250,000.

    The Performance Assurance System

    Academic degrees mean so many things today that employers and society can have little confidence in any particular thing they once meant. There are "degrees" given by universities that have the same name but few courses in common. The same "course" title means nothing between universities, even great differences exist between sections of the same course in a single university. Grade inflation is well known; cheating is widely reported.

    Agencies seem to have no means to police or analyze these differences. Changes in the natural resource world de-stabilize agencies. The schools have diversified courses; the agencies diversified employees; society has diversified and clouded its goals; and employees have broadened their studies to increase employment options. The situation is bad for employers, for schools, for society . . . and for the wise management of resources upon which society depends. Something needs to be done about this unfortunate, potentially dangerous, and at least inefficient situation. We know many things that can be done but the one that we have selected is to create a performance assurance system. We call it Competency, a new enterprise. Similar systems are familiar in many fields. A person goes to our test center and demonstrates knowledge and abilities before the system cadre. The certificate received is clear proof, genuine evidence, of performance before licensed, certified, bonded employees of the system.

    The employee or applicant may use the certificate in any way that he or she desires. It can be framed and can provide the depth and breadth of personal satisfaction that comes from taking a challenge or test and achieving success.

    The certificate is unique, for it is not the result of a "multiple choice" test, not machine-graded and automated. It is an on-site display of specific competencies. It is not a test for cutting edge or unique skills or knowledge, but a test of the basics. Some skills are judged by some people as being trivial (e.g., prepare and light a campfire with no more than 2 matches, an early camp craft activity). Others are conventional (keyboard speed and corrections, power saw operation, tractor operation); others are standard (statistical tests, graphing, elementary mathematical problems). There are conventional written tests as well as demonstrations that require an official observer to judge: "satisfactory safe performance . . . or not?"

    The list of performances assured is very long. It is official; there is no score assigned. The judgment for each item in the performance list is simply yes or no. An applicant may return at any time to demonstrate competencies gained since the last demonstration session. Future work with other groups may be sought.

    Many competencies are assumed to be permanent and are not re-tested. Others are removed from the person's record after 7 years (the maximum period in which not using a skill or knowledge component may result in poor decisions and resource abuse). A person may request a re-test (or removal) of any performance assurance at any time. The Rural System, Inc. performance accuracy system is not a school. It does not teach. Applicants arrive, prepared to perform. Each person selects the items in which he or she wishes to demonstrate their performance. Typically many are demonstrated in a period of 2 to 5 days, depending on the items selected. While a person may "count" competencies, such counts are almost meaningless for an employer may want assurance of only 3 competencies. Others may not know what they want or may be an "opportunity maximizer," selecting applicants with the greatest number of demonstrated competencies.

    The costs are typically the applicant. Anyone may demonstrate performance, thereby Competency makes opportunities available to everyone without regard to age, university experience, or source of knowledge. "Can you do it?" is the question (whatever "it"is). This is not a multiple-choice question.There are only two answers within the context of Competency.

    Typically, an applicant performs in the field at an area, moving from spot to spot in the area designed for them. An assistant accompanies them. They perform at each spot before an evaluator. They are given equipment, conditions, and time to perform. After success (or failure), they move to the next spot based on (1) their selection, and (2) local scheduling. In the office environment, they move, also with their assistant, from spot to spot to demonstrate their selected performances.

    An official record is kept. Participants may elect a confidential or open status. Those indicating an "open" status may be included in a response to a request: "send names of all people having competency in x and y." Participants are kept informed in a membership newsletter of progress within and changes of the system, new opportunities, new programs, new recognition of the value of Competency, and status of members. In the indoor performance areas, written tests may be taken, computers used, laboratory situations engaged (e.g., all of the major internal organs of a fowl named; a chemical titration performed, sample parts of trees identified correctly).

    A writing unit assures ability to write and type a grammatically correct description of an object.

    A public speaking unit assures ability to give a quality verbal description (score > 90) of 10 minutes to a group of 5 or more people after 10 minutes preparation.

    A Phase II component of Competency is to operate a computer simulation of an eastern U.S. deciduous forest and to achieve within 5 operation events a score of greater than 90.

    Phase II is a direct response to well recognize concerns that knowledge of the parts of a natural resource system may not result in their use or proper use. Synthesis, unification, and trade-off may not occur. Phase II is one way by which performance of the combined, integrated use of knowledge may be demonstrated. Because the system is designed to be realistic, some variation is included, thus a "perfect" score is only equally probable to a score of between 90 and 100.

    Phase III, is an advanced unit only available to those having demonstrated Phase II competence. It is a team action and requires 5 applicants to work simultaneously for 3 days to use an advanced computer simulation of complex forest system problem. A successfully score of 90 must be achieved by the team within 3 days. Competency in team-based, holistic resource production system optimization is the performance assured. A web-based testing service is now being studied.


    Estimated development costs..... $100,000


    System Base

    System Base is a unit of System Central working with a group of businesses and individuals supporting new, vigorous, and profitable development within the county. System Base staff are dedicated to increased profits within the conglomerate along with building upon creative efforts in the region and around it.

    Sample communication...

    An example of the communication with a shop or store owner in the neighborhood of Rural System, Inc....

    I want you to become a member of Rural System's System Base. This is an invitation, but I also want your help in working together. System Base includes businesses supporting new, vigorous, and profitable forestry and outdoor recreation and tourism development within the county and nearby counties. System Base Staff members are dedicated to increased profits for you along with building upon creative efforts in the region and around it.

    As a member of System Base, you will get:

    1. Priority news about the Rural System, Inc. and its successes (even failures if they occur).
    2. Access to the System Base web page and an advertising banner.
    3. Access to the Rural System's e-mail "hot-line," a vital source for information about System Base and exciting new research discoveries, products, and services.
    4. Announcements of Rural System programs and activities for coordinating your promotions and sales.
    5. A satellite map of your location within the region.
    6. New group advertising promoting the county, and thus your role in it.
    7. New access to tourists and groups of new types.
    8. An annual conference of members.
    9. A monthly newsletter on the Web featuring sales and promotion strategies.
    10. Access to useful marketing strategies.
    11. Relevant financial news of the region.
    12. News of Rural System developments and new opportunities for profits with the environment, digging "green gold."
    13. News of how to avoid hazards (safety, fire, accident, theft) and to reduce costs.
    14. Support of natural resource education in the local schools, with new units provided to children over the Internet ... building a customer base.
    15. At-cost System Base-member-only announced tours (2 options per year).
    16. Access to bulk-buying or group-buying opportunities never-before-available for the small business operators within the region. See also and
    17. An annual report describing membership and ranging-related business progress in the neighbor counties.
    18. Discounts on other Rural System products and services.

    The cost of membership is $276, as low as I can get it now. It's a business expense, not a contribution. This cost (adjusted for inflation) will go down as the membership in Base increases ($5 per 20 new members) to the best deal in the region, a mere $200. We'll prove that you get your money's worth. Write or call so that we can tell you about the Rural System, Inc. and the System Base. Please join and contact your associates to tell them about the Base and Rural System, Inc. We think you'll be as excited as we are about expanded opportunities as we work to protect and enhance the region and bring it and its wonderful environment and natural resources to life through realistic new interrelated enterprises and greater profits for enterprises now in the region.


    Development costs are estimated at $60,000 Estimated Annual Profits (7th year).........

    Outdoor-Based Groups

    The following Groups are classified very generally as "Outdoor -Based" and most of them work on Pivotal Tracts and under contracts on other private and public lands.

    The Forest Group

    Using modern technology, well-established principles of forestry, and a new concept of the privately owned total land system, The Forest Group of Rural System, Inc. unifies the following diverse activities for reasonable profits over the long run:

    1. GPS and GIS technology
    2. Knowledge of the land
    3. Use of alpha units (Special map units replacing or augmenting "stand" units)
    4. Named Pivotal Tracts (separate areas, like state forests or Forests of the U.S. Forest Service) with different objectives but unified management)
    5. Coherent, unified management system
    6. High payoffs from previous research
    7. Intensive inventory software and computers
    8. Specialized nurseries or cooperators
    9. Superior growing stock and regeneration management
    10. Computer analyses of potential production
    11. Specialized units (e.g., walnut products and single-tree profit projects)
    12. Associated profitable activity with other groups
    13. Optimum tree spacing
    14. The right species for the right site
    15. Use of new site evaluation criteria and local yield curves
    16. Protection of stems
    17. Spot fertilization
    18. Young stem release (alternative grazing and fire systems)
    19. Special thinning procedures
    20. Beta harvest regulation (in contrast of area and volume regulation)
    21. Assistance in land valuation
    22. Extensive reports and web site hypertext
    23. Wildlife management (especially through the other units of The Deer Group, The Raccoon Group, and The Wild Turkey Group)
      • Hunting (intensive managed hunts)
      • Birdwatching (area permits and guided programs)
      • Angling (within a developed regional system)
      • Memberships (land related resource and nature interests for adults and children);
      • Other wildland recreation
    24. Recreational and multi-purpose trails network
    25. Timber marking for maximum long-term profit (including profit-based individual tree selection and removals)
    26. Superior planned logging and harvests (gentle-on-the-land logging)
    27. Intensive insect and disease profit loss controls
    28. Watershed quality enhancement
    29. Wildfire prevention, prescribed burning, and strategic fire control (The Fire Force)
    30. Security (against thefts, trespass, littering, vandalism, and wildlife law violations)
    31. Surveys (with reputable subcontractors providing services that can be integrated with the above)
    32. Road layout and construction supervision to reduce erosion and impacts
    33. Viewscape management and visual analyses
    34. Means for surpassing SFI and ISO 14000 concepts
    35. Solar drying and partial-seasoning
    36. Short log mills that are product-oriented
    37. Superior mill work and value-added sawing
    38. Bark and mill-waste sales or heat co-generation of energy
    39. Waste (bark and nut hulls) and ash recovery and land application
    40. Market-price-based product storage
    41. Intensive cost and tax controls
    42. Land insurance (fire, insects, storms and accidents)
    43. Specialized product advertising "superior products gently produced from certified Pivotal Tracts."
    44. Specialized accounting and capital budgeting
    45. Demonstrations and promotion of sophisticated, modern wildland systems
    46. Knowledge-base building (expert systems, classical research, and studies)
    47. Constrained optimization of the total system with modified expected present net value as an objective
    48. "Scoring" or rating of forests and forest practices for personal reasons, pride of ownership, display on an attractive sign, potentially for testimony in legal action, and potentially for land valuation for land sale or reduced taxation.

    Rural System, Inc. engages in diverse activities, not only on each site and within each ownership, but also regionally. The assumption is made that "perfect" forest management on one area within a poor, unhealthy, or dysfunctional region cannot be viewed as successful over many years.

    Pivotal Tracts are managed for owners but because they are viewed from a regional perspective, advantages may be gained in pooled buying and selling, in arranging export offers, in reduced logging and transportation costs, in sharing equipment, and in avoiding duplicating effort. Owners of land may enroll all or parts of their ownerships. The concept is complex but contains elements of:

    1. Voluntary membership
    2. Partial or total ownership
    3. Low risk of financial loss
    4. Improved forests of the region (higher quality, potentially more profitable standing stock throughout the region)
    5. Site-specific, silvic-intensive, GIS-based tree and stand information
    6. Potentially profit maximizing, but always based on the landowner's objectives which may not include profit as an important objective. (Objectives include a set, usually defining a condition for inheritance, family pride and recreation, wildlife conservation (plants and animals), spring flowers, a place for reflection and psychological health (to "get away"), and a genuine contribution as a good citizen to the well being of the region through water supplies, air quality, scenic beauty, educational opportunities, and wildlife benefits).
    7. A regional or national view that may (but not necessarily) provide economies (e.g., scale effects) See An Analysis of the Timber Situation in the United States: 1952-2050.
    8. A preparation for future fossil energy shortages or non-availability
    9. An increase in healthful local employment
    10. Sophisticated, high-tech management including several levels of simulation and optimization
    11. Employing high school, university, and graduate students to assist students and their parents and guardians in paying for their education at Virginia Tech of other affiliated universities
    12. Using past research findings based on public tax investments in research over the past century
    13. Using actual field project results in future analyses and research
    14. Using some funds to support future research
    15. Independent of state and federal funds
    16. Committed to perpetuating and improving the tracts
    17. The actual income is supplied by funds derived from managing the land
      • thinnings
      • tree harvests
      • hunting and fishing area management
      • tours
      • craft products
      • annual membership fees
    18. Pivotal Tracts are patrolled and protected.
    19. Pivotal Tracts are given a form of protection by many other means (e.g., testimony) from intrusions (e.g., impact analyses of powerline corridors and highways, System Central). Of course, "winning" in court conflicts cannot be assured and an owner may elect to be included or not in such protective action (e.g., rejection when there is a desire to sell under land condemnation).
    20. Wilderness, park, reserve, and sanctuary areas may be selected and special provisions provided for their long-term protection. Large areas with research and educational events may be available to members of Rural System, Inc.
    21. Memberships in The Foresters with various levels and including awards for knowledge, practices, and special activity are an important component.

    There are about 2 million acres in the multi-county region of primary interest of the Rural System, Inc. Of this, about 70% are forested. Of this area, figures differ on access and whether the trees can be (or should be) harvested. There are thousands of acres of state and federal land in the region that will be assumed to be under appropriate management. The Forest Group may seek contracts with agencies to do cost-effective management. In summary, there are at least 700,000 acres of privately-owned-potentially-productive-of-woodland in the region, the working domain of The Forest Group and other elements of Rural System, Inc.

    Wood (tree-size) growth in the region now exceeds harvest by a high ratio. Harvests can be increased, but the concerns are that quality growth is not occurring - on superior trees - on productive sites -- where access costs are reasonable and where other environmental impacts (erosion, compaction, etc.) are not extreme. There are too many "conditions." The problem is complex in the region, on National Forests, but especially so for the small acreage landowner. Staff of The Forest Group will have the means to solve these problems for the small unit and large-unit landowner. The staff can take the hassle out of problems for the out-of-state, absentee, or other owners that are busy with daily affairs and unaware of the complexity of forest-related decisions. It does what the owners wants, not simply cut trees for immediate income. It can assist in financial planning for college and other needs, even financial crisis management (forest banking) to prevent disastrous land impacts. It can present a viable alternative to the rapid turnover in ownership of forestland (on average every 12 years) by providing management, a flow of benefits, and reduce the harmful effects of a "cutout-and-getout" before land sale.

    Forestry within Rural System, Inc. is viewed as a total system. Such a system includes: reforesting and regenerating stands, providing protection, enhancing work that is cost effective, maintaining an inventory, conducting effective harvests, using proper transportation, marketing, processing, storing, preserving and taking other actions, all concentrating on adding value to wood products in the region, developing exports as appropriate, making genetic improvement, monitoring, and doing profit-making studies into all of the above. But even this is not the total money-producing system. The look needs to be on rural land as a platform of creativity and source of profit, not just production of logs.

    Rural System, Inc. will seek to grow as an organization so positive that its influences can be felt throughout the region. It seeks to accept responsibility for management of lands in the region. These special places are living, working, profitable areas but also demonstration and research areas. They are self-sustaining and provide employment opportunities for local people.

    As one component of The Forest Group operation, there is the large-area maintenance work. It includes allowing a corporation or family to hold land for pride, estate values, speculative price increases, or any reason by applying the composite strategy of engaging in a contract:

    1. To bring the land under sophisticated management
    2. To gain full stocking of superior trees
    3. To develop a harvest strategy that pays for taxes and improves the stand
    4. To diversity products (such as Christmas trees and craft items)
    5. To increase security and protection
    6. To participate with other ownerships in
      • improving the regional tax base
      • increasing employment opportunities
      • reducing erosion and improving forest quality
    7. To gain profits from additional recreational opportunities and higher recreational quality.

    The Forest Group's vision of forestry has the following elements:

    1. Land, not merely trees, is what is managed.
    2. That land has trees puts it into one category of use. That use can rapidly change even though everyone is aware that forests take many years to develop.
    3. Trees are part of a forest system that includes owners, surrounding land, water, location, taxes, markets, roads, the legal and economic environment, risks of loss, tax policy, current consumer preference, wildlife damage, game preference and hunting attitude, and tendencies toward outdoor recreation. It includes current wood use technology, regional wood prices, warehouse and stockpile capability, and modern sawmill techniques. Of course it includes energy-availability and biomass-energy demand.
    4. To emphasize trees in such a system is akin to spending too much time in discussing "the lung" when the topic is the human body!
    5. Every piece of land is unique. Computer technology allows that concept to be useful. Now characteristics of every site can be used to determine what trees grow best on what sites, but equally important in the larger system what species, at what age, in what arrangement, on what site, suffering what expected losses and costs, at what distance from a road and mill, given today's and technology and expected received funds, can be profitable.
    6. Asking the question of profit is not a bad idea. Whether profit from trees (or other products) is used or not in the market, it can inform the rational land "owner" (public or private) about the dollars likely to be foregone if alternative uses of the land are made.
    7. Annual financial equivalent returns to owners from land with trees should be accumulated as part of the rotation-length budget (recreation, views, game, etc.)
    8. Regional values of land with trees (pure water, flood cost prevention, temperature influence, visual amenities, erosion control) should be computed, then a median estimate used to compute an annual value of forests to each citizen. Social value of forests is real, and can be computed, but not well at the stand or ownership scale.
    9. As in other systems, efficiency in one place may not achieve the objectives of the system owners/operators. Not efficiency but achieving cost effectiveness of the total system is the mission. Of whom? Of what? It is hard to imagine the average C-grade graduate of current forestry schools as being able to be responsible for the total system. The net has been thrown too far; the catch is too great. Some still see the forester as the manager of the total system or the generalist who can manage some part, or the specialist who can plant, raise, and specify when to cut trees (not cut them, for that is the role of the specialist logger). These three identities capture the ambiguity within the "field of forestry," among people calling themselves foresters, and certainly among the public.
    10. The vision of The Forest Group staff is that of land as a platform used to meet landowners' many (100+) objectives. Staff assist in formulating these objectives, informs the owner of the costs; provides necessary and appropriate legal, ecological and other constraints, provides a prescription and plan, and helps implement the total system over the long run.
    11. The "profession" of forestry once narrow and clear, is now so broad and multi-dimensional that it cannot be communicated well within or outside the university or agency.
    12. The owner of a small-acreage forest may not be able to become profitable over a reasonable period. Economies of scale are difficult to achieve. Achieving them and providing annual- or periodic-income from the greater enterprise (before the typical end-of-rotation log sale) is a major dimension of The Forest Group activity.
    13. Within The Forest Group there are people who have special knowledge of trees or some aspect of the total tree-related system. They may call themselves foresters, at some risk in some circles. The emphasis within Rural System, Inc. is on the total system working for the land owner, bringing his or her land to full production of their specified benefits (and more where feasible) at reasonably low costs ... for a very long time.
    14. A concept of intergenerational justice is present, assuming some degree of thankfulness for the resource inherited and now available for use and management, and intent on providing resources for survival in the future and productive potential of opportunities and options.
    15. Few, if any, well-educated foresters can master the total system. Few members of the general public without the privilege of such education can do so. The Forest Group employees work as a group. They seek to "do forestry" for landowners. They will satisfy all aspects of their curiosity and encourage learning of all types but "to educate landowners about good forestry" is impossible. The vision is one of land under intensive contractual care (perhaps (but only partially) analogous to a lawn-care company, a frozen-food delivery service, or a furnace maintenance company).


    Development cots: $180,000 with gains estimated as follows:

    The Certification Group

    Smartwood is a recent development in forestry and wood processing generally. The Rain Forest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Council (created in 1993), international groups, have developed a set of criteria for well-managed, sustainable forests. When a forest meets the criteria, it may be certified as environmentally sound and under sustained conditions. Special attention as well as economic incentives follow. Like a "Good-Housekeeping Seal-of-Approval," the Designation significantly increases the value of the products from the areas.

    Certification requires a disinterested third party. Certification is thus voluntary verification of good forest stewardship by an independent third party according to set standards. For forest-product processors, a product labeling system differentiates their products in the highly competitive forest products markets. Presumably environmentally conscious and concerned citizens would prefer that the wood they use be from certified forests.

    Smartwood is an organization that has been formed to perform the certification. Advertised in national magazines and frequently given radio spots, SmartWood-certified wood is becoming well known. (The ISF and another group work in the western US.) Major wood sales groups have featured it in their yards. A program following a "chain of custody" from forest to finished manufactured product (e.g., the pencil, furniture wood) has also been established. Wood from certified forests brings higher than standard prices wherever it is sold. Citizen acceptance is limited but growing. Contractors advertise homes built with certified wood. Export markets are reported to receive 10% more for certified lumber than other lumber from the same sources. Over 4.6 million acres in the US have been certified as well managed and 154 processors have established a chain of custody for products.

    Following advertisements and other announcements, a landowner contacts Smartwood to become certified. After preliminary evaluations, a team of four people visits the land to observe. The owner presents all of the information requested; several days are spent in the field. A report is filed stating full certification or the needs for conditional certification. Opportunities are made for expert review of the report and a report (comments or rebuttal) from the owner. Once the conditions are met, the land is certified and it may sell wood as being from a certified forest. Periodic inspections are held to be sure that the criteria are continually met.

    Rural System, Inc. proposes to become certified...and to rapidly have all of its lands certified. More importantly, it proposes to become a brokerage or liaison for the services needed to become certified. The process is expensive and complex but the rewards can be substantial, especially as they become part of a greening strategy. The plan required is long and complex (and The Trevey can usually meet much of it). The typical landowner needs to have a staff "get ready," prepare an effective presentation to the visiting team, make field arrangements, present a summary, and continue correspondence about technical matters. Expedient certification is the byword. Usually The Certification Group would assist in subsequent updates and announcing when conditional elements could be removed. It could also assist in making inspections by making presentations and taking the inspectors to named sites.

    We believe that Smartwood will be positive to our affiliation with Mr. Billy H. Newman, EnviroFor, LLC of Nelson County or Foresters, Inc., of Blacksburg, Virginia. While Smartwood approval is desired, it may be possible to achieve the objectives of this unit "outside of" and independent of Smartwood, working exclusively for the clients. Contact: The Forest Management Trust, 6124 SW 30th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32608 (supported by the Moriah Fund and the Elizabeth Ordway Dunn Foundation)

    In January, 2000, a Smartwood course was announced suggesting similar activities as those proposed for Ranging, Inc. From E-mail:

    Forest Certification Assessor Training Workshop, Co-sponsored by the Institute for Sustainable Forestry (ISF), Smartwood and the City of Arcata This course will teach participants how to conduct on-the-ground assessments of forest management practices using the Smartwood certification system, which is accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council. Participant will be divided in to small teams to simulate the dynamics of an actual assessment: in this case, of Arcata Community Forest. Although abbreviated in format, the "mock" assessment will include all features of an actual assessment, including: field data gathering, stakeholder consultation, document review, scoring, report writing and client briefing of preliminary results.

    The course is designed specifically to prepare foresters, biologists, scientists, economists, sociologists and other natural resource professionals for participation on assessment teams. Actual assessment teams include a range of natural resource specialists depending on the client. Participants should have at least a 4-year college degree or higher and at least 5 years of work experience in their field of expertise.

    The cost for the workshop will be $395 per person (some scholarships are available), which includes the cost of instruction, all course materials, and meals for three days. Registration is limited to 24 participants. The 4-day course will be held in Arcata, CA.

    A separate unit of The Certification Group will be explored seeking how to assist in land sales, that is, being an agent for realtors, and assisting them in sale of lands. A web-page catalog of all of the certified lands and products in the region, will be created.


    Development costs are $50,000

    The Trevey:
    A Dynamic Planning System

    The Trevey (pronounced "tree-vy") provides guidance for making difficult, multifaceted, high-risk land use and development decisions that have long-term effects. It is a prototype dynamic planning system, a first draft already delivered to the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, Maryland, as part of its environmental planning process. An advanced system is now being developed for the U.S. Army, Ft. A. P. Hill, Virginia (1998). The latest concept for The Trevey is of a system that produces a plan for a landowner (farm, military area, county, forest, park, etc.) available from a World Wide Web site. Adequate security is provided. The landowner can call up his or her plan at any time, see color images, photographs, graphs, maps, etc. (i.e., hypermedia) and the latest information about the area and the plan. Models for components of everyone's plans are managed and improved from a central office but each person's plan remains directed to their personal objectives and local conditions.

    Replacing confusing concepts of planning (there are some 40 definitions of planning), The Trevey system unifies GIS, simulation, optimization, ecological databases, and general information (e.g., a 100-page glossary, available in electronic form). The system allows landowners to learn about the land and make decisions appropriate for the present and to account for changes in the future system.

    The plan is changed from "that dusty book on the shelf," out of date before it was printed and delivered. It is now the dynamically changing and improving system within the computer. A book can be produced but the usual user will use it as a hypertext, moving forward and backward, first a graph, then a chapter, then a glossary term, then back to check how the objectives had been stated, then in other creative ways.

    A singular, generic system produces a unique book for each management area or unit. The book is like a good newspaper, out-of-date tomorrow, a "throwaway." The system shifts emphasis from the plan to a planning system, a computer-based entity being continually updated, revised, edited, expanded, and made more interactive than the day before. The Trevey may include color pictures of historical conditions, television clips of herd conditions, computer programs that may be accessed for detailed local work, color graphs that summarize data accumulated and re-analyzed since the range fire last week caused all statistics to change and new optima to emerge. The system can replace "planning" concepts for large land units (e.g., the 500 National Wildlife Refuges, the source of the original recognized need for such cost effectiveness).

    Describing large, complex systems is not only difficult but also always unsatisfactory. People approach problems and solution systems differently, so there is never the proper place to start a description. The Trevey is a system of concepts, a framework of action, and computer support. A prototype and new parts do exist. Trying to unify the interests, as always, is the major task that is last addressed, usually too late to avoid conflicts. The Trevey has been proposed as the unifying means. The system is not likely to solve all land use problems. That is too stringent a requirement, however one conspicuous limitation is enough to have an otherwise-excellent system dismissed. The Trevey needs to be developed further for it may become a standard for comparing other approaches or paradigms. It contains the means for its own correction.

    Over time, the system will surely be demonstrated to provide substantial cost and time saving, even more importantly, to improve the quality of the decision process. It will provide a stable resource of information and offer continuity in knowledge about local ecosystems and management policies. As a training aid for changing personnel with diverse education and experience, it may become invaluable.

    The system is designed so that it can be used for a large farm and many types of tracts of land. Conceptually, it is right for the nation, perhaps world, but practical and political limitations label such thoughts as infeasible. The Trevey operates for some named land units, a region. It seeks to address comprehensive planning and land use issues for the land volume that is the region. By emphasis on volume, we embrace all phenomena above the land (e.g., air quality) as well as on and below it (e.g., groundwater and minerals). A three-dimensional worldview begins the break with traditional efforts. A fourth dimension, time, is also dominant. The two major outputs of the system are (1) plans and (2) decision aids, answers to (what does a proposed change really do?) The Trevey is a dynamic set of texts and programs (now under development) within a relatively small computer. Overly simplified, it is: (1) a word processor with standard files, (2) a file of data, (3) a set of computer programs, and (3) a merge statement. The file is continually changing as data change, as new programs are written and results produced, and as entry of any new factor changes numbers in many places throughout the file. The data are linked as if in a small ecosystem, many are related to each other. One change in data causes changes in models throughout the system. The changed results are put in the file. The merge command fills in the blanks in the text. There are ancillary materials that rarely change such as photographs of seeds or slides of pathogenic materials. The total plan may not be of interest on a particular day, but a new "plan" or part may be created at any time - any part - any table - any chapter - and sent electronically to where it can be used . . . or merely viewed on a screen. Paper copies are no longer required, but they may be produced.

    The plan, as expected, influences the character of the decision aids, the second major product of the system. Decisions in general range from "what cereal for breakfast?" to "where to locate a trans-Alaska pipeline?" but this system, while related to land use decisions, is not just a land use decision system. Implicit within it is that almost all decisions have a major land use component. Everything occurs in the volume. It is likely that at least one environmental factor influences every decision (e.g., noise influencing health care, recreation, and schools). the  system of general systems theoryThe major components of the system are shown at the right. On one-hand it is a land use system, on the other, a system to provide guidance for managing the total human system.

    The decision aids from the system are expected to emerge in answers to conventional questions such as: Can I mine here?, What is the best place for a new school?, Where is the optimum powerline corridor? (Giles 1976, 1977a, Giles et al. 1976); Where is the best place for a new general aviation airport? (Koeln 1980), What are the effects of a new tax on grazing intensity?

    A scenario is that a developer requests information for placement of structures at a point with coordinates x and y in a region. The Trevey answer: "No, for the following main reason, but OK at location x + 3, y - 2." The intent of such a response is to provide clear answers and assistance and more as discussed later. The system does not make decisions. These remain personal and within the political system. It does provide more information, better processed than ever before, and makes support for going against the output of the system very difficult. With inadequate information, strongly biased special-interest forces are difficult to control. The Trevey may reduce this power. Thwarted political power, however, may kill the system. The philosophy "Information is power" is true for people in general, but it may be deadly for individuals (or systems). The potentials of the system raise exciting opportunities and potential radical changes ahead in land use policy.


    A central concept of The Trevey is that problems exist in the gap between objectives and the present state. It is possible to develop a concept of a nearly perfect condition of the region that might be expressed as a score. If we call that best score R*, then we can evaluate the current condition (or that condition after some proposed development, land use change, or program) and call it R. R is a total system performance index (Churchman 1968). This seems to lurch into treacherous grounds for some people. A reality is that people in an area need an answer to "how are we doing?" Some people argue that individual factors or conditions should be presented and each person can summarize them in any way they like. The Trevey is grounded in ecology, in the concept that things are related in almost incomprehensible ways with synergism, non-linear relations, limits, and thresholds. The power developed over years of research now allows us to do new syntheses, to "get it all together." Formal synthesis exceeding the power of the unaided human brain is now available and needs to be used.

    R and R* have over 300 components or criteria (Giles 1977b, 1981). These are the objectives. We start the design and development of The Trevey with fundamental epistemology, the question of how would we know we were doing well with the land or region or how would we know if we had an excellent condition. The appropriate answer to this question is taken to be: when we are achieving our objectives. We have gained citizen taskforce inputs and student involvement over 10 years and developed such a list of objectives. They are of the form (in two brief examples): (1) to minimize erosion, and (2) to maximize human access to land. As is evident, these (as other objectives) are in conflict. Maximizing access will very likely increase erosion. The tradeoffs are made within the computer program. The formulation of the objective is a major advance within The Trevey concept. It sums for

    The score for a region or large management area, R, may be plotted over time. Historical estimates may be made, but in general, attention is on how to minimize A, the difference between the actual score and the desired condition. The score for an area may be increased (or decreased) by re-stating and changing one or more dimensions of the large set of objectives. The formulation for the objectives is complex but now manageable. Inability to develop this expression and compute it has been at the heart of past public land use problems. Conflicts arise between people when any one of their eight above listed elements are dissimilar!

    Public as well as private land managers, researchers, professors, and consultants wrestle with a problem that resists being named. It is the "equitable-profitable-proper-landuse-for-owner-and-other-citizens-now-and-sustained-indefinitely" problem. The solution to this complex problem is within a complex system, The Trevey.

    It is a small wonder that any land use decision is ever made. The R* value is estimated every few years for it changes as citizen demand, values, etc. change. The R value also changes, hopefully moving more closely to R* under wise management. There may be unavoidable setbacks such as from fires and floods and rapid improvements in R resulting from development, government programs, concerted citizen action, etc.

    By concentrating on objectives rather than (problems), it is possible to release the creative powers of people in a region. A clear target is seen. People can see progress, in part, because they know where they are headed. The categories for the objectives are:

    1. Community Identity
    2. History
    3. Cultural Development
    4. Religion
    5. Esthetics and Beautification
    6. Landscaping and Vegetation
    7. Open Space
    8. Ownership
    9. Organization and Operation
    10. The People
    11. Health
    12. Education
    13. Security and Justice
    14. Recreation and Leisure
    15. Employment
    16. Safety
    17. Fire
    18. Civil Defense
    19. Industry and Commerce
    20. Food and Nutrition
    21. Social Services
    22. Communications
    23. Taxation and Finance
    24. Transportation
    25. Utilities and Energy
    26. Waste

    One decision aid provided by The Trevey is the result of a simulation, an analysis of the probable consequence of an action on R. If R were likely to decrease, it would probably be unwise to issue a permit (or even to apply for one), or to continue with a project. If a decrease of, say 100 points in R might occur and no other options were available, it may be that other action by the person or group may increase by substantially more than 100 points the score in a region. Then the net results might make the proposal acceptable. Total regional, long-term, net effect of an action seem to be a suitable basis for operation (Giles 1979) on the condition in a region, the potential for a high quality life, given all legal and similar constraints.


    The data requirements are great but no greater than those used or needed at present, and the data are used, not just collected and filed away, nearly impossible to retrieve and rarely used to influence a decision. The data banks can be built and grow; each decision will be better than the last because of the growth.

    The primary data flow to models, (e.g., of waste disposal per person per year). As an example, an increase in people resulting from a proposed development automatically changes the numbers in the waste chapter, automatically the cost of a disposal facility in the budget chapter. The other data are numerous. Some appear as tables but they all operate in models (or are omitted because they do not "do anything," are functionless in reaching decisions). In most cases "nice-to-know" is omitted in favor of "need-to-know" but some general text material is provided because of the extreme diversity within the system and the near impossibility of anyone being fully knowledgeable in each area for which a report is prepared.

    A primary input and processing category is the computer map produced by an entire geographic information subsystem. These maps have become increasingly well known. Their first uses were as overlays. The computer successively placed a single factor map atop a cumulative set of maps. Progressively, good or bad areas were delineated, i.e., areas having all or most factors. More recent systems include (nearness-to) or (distance from) functions allowing zones around roads for example, to be mapped and these to be added as a map feature. Other improvements include modeling in a map cell or polygon. Given an equation such as

    Y= A + BX + CZ3 -DQ0.5

    and that X Z and Q are names of factors on maps with real numbers in each cell, then the computer moves to a cell, pulls the values, computes Y, then stores the results and moves to the next cell. A new map is made of all of the computed values of Y. That new map may be of prime sites for Type D industries.

    A computer mapping system provides the basis for evaluating a developer's proposal, because it allows new-roads, water lines, school transit, and environmental and visual impacts all to be assessed in the same form.


    It is almost impossible to discuss system inputs without discussing processes. The core processes are operations research, mathematical, statistical, and econometric models. The premises or operating policies and concepts are:

    1. All objectives are not articulated. Sufficient major ones are stated.
    2. All inputs are not included. Significant ones are included.
    3. Complete knowledge is unavailable. Human systems vary. Confidence levels of about 0.85 and accuracy levels of 0.10 are recommended over these currently used and are more than adequate for most land use decisions.
    4. Information on objectives is far from precise. Unifying imprecise knowledge of objectives with precise information is wasteful due to the rules of significant figures. Computer maps showing different factors or quantities can display detailed information about large areas. Many maps can be overlain, factors used in models, distance and area phenomena computed and used, and all produced in color or three dimensions. The discrimination provided as seen here allows site-specific information to be used in lieu of often-over-generalized information such as found in zoning maps.
    5. All analyses are based on the suitable information currently available. Re-analysis is feasible if new information is made available.
    6. The system is bounded. The mapped area and a zone around it are the region. Many factors outside of any boundary can influence the decision.
    7. There are social, cultural, and other phenomena that cannot or have not been incorporated into the system. Failure-rate (local rejection of The Trevey reports and a resulting reduced R score) is studied as part of the system and adjustments are made to reduce non-congruence.
    8. Having all system components operational, at least in some form, is more important than having great precision in some few components but no computer code on other topics.
    9. Everything is not strongly connected to everything else (Holling 1978 pages 26-28). Many things are, but such knowledge increases confidence in the system.
    10. Sensitivity analyses can be conducted. Solutions are often dominated by a few factors. Other solutions are insensitive to the presence or magnitude of other factors. Such analyses allow efficient allocation of effort to collect, store, and retrieve such information.
    11. Uncertainty about the future, especially about assigned values and interest rates, conditions all aspects of statistical confidence as it relates to sample sizes, costs of sampling, and the statements made about data.
    12. While the technology of simulation is used in decision aids, and changes can be evaluated, the special power of The Trevey is in the ability to compute an optimum valve, then to compare simulation analyses within the same system. The system, while strongly grounded in ecology, is no more so than in economics, esthetics, and energetics. It also includes enforcement ... the big 5 E's. This union of major relations moves the system beyond "ecosystem management" or econometric models.
    13. The system has a unique, practical, public-participation component.


    To change the state of the region from R to R* may not cost a region anything. People there may continue operation as in their history. A change agent (e.g., a new building, a shopping center) may come or go - the R score will change. Citizens (or landowner) may decide that they want to increase the score. Implicit is the need for optimization. Given 20 proposals by creative citizens or a consultant, which will be best? The results typically are in the form of a modified benefit-to-cost ratio (RR) with (R*-R) /R* being maximized and C being minimized. Part of the concept is that the computation of RR, R*, or R must not cost very much.

    The Trevey is conceived as being a large system of staff and computers and is not appropriate for a small group. Because it is a system, it is likely that, once developed, it can be modified in minor ways so that the initial development need not be borne again. Only revisions and managing local data will be needed. The system can be adapted for use elsewhere.

    The costs of such a system are invariably less than those of a misplaced highway, a suit involving an endangered animal species, a U. S. Forest Service Plan (average $3 million; O'Toole 1985 page 176), or costs of delays in any large project. Effectiveness is said to be achieving objectives at low cost and high efficiency, and then operating at low cost. People can become every efficient in doing the wrong thing, even evil things. The Trevey is an effectiveness-oriented system, it works within the region, then makes additional profits by servicing other areas.

    A Rural Implication: Zoning In the rural sector, the agricultural zone is said to be a banking zone. Land is banked there until such time as someone needs it for another use, then it is re-zoned to that use. This cynical view highlights the widespread displeasure with zoning. There are many approaches to controlling or regulating rural land use, but none have worked well. People wait for the next move by a developer, the new highway, or some other challenge to rural land use. Giles and Koeln (1983) advocated analyzing the primeness of farm land, then allowing progressive alternative land use inroads only in sequence, retaining the most prime farmland until the last. This is a subset of zoning, a long-standing practice so entrenched it will be hard to convince anyone of there being an option.

    That discoveries are still on the shelf does not mean that they are not good, as any patent attorney will testify. The history of technology is replete with examples of ideas pulled from the past and used, sometimes in new ways, but not always. One such breakthrough is called dynamic classification. Williamson (1981) completed a Ph.D. dissertation on the topic and several others have advanced the concept (Giles et al. 1993). The concept is grounded in computer mapping. Williamson held that maps should not be made of regions or generalized areas. A mapped region good for displaying conifer forests may not be good for displacing where a certain reptile occurs.

    "Ecoregions" are over-generalized map areas. When we have (as we do) the capability of mapping animal ranges, specific points with conditions suitable for a species, why should we over-generalize and group all reptiles or all conifer trees? Technology now allows low cost maps to be produced in a timely fashion to meet specific needs. Zoning, using grossly mapped areas of land use types, is over generalizing.

    Each map cell (e.g., a land area 10 x 10 meters), because there are so many factors known about it, is probably unique. Given hundreds of factors characterizing each cell, it is possible to ask of such a system: Given the 25 characteristics of my planned factory (or any project), where are the best places to put it? Perhaps the computer might select a place (in a factory or industrial zone) but the place might be suboptimal, slightly better at the edge of another zone, several times better in another zone.

    Years ago, there were too many factors, options were fewer, pressures less, space more available. Creating maps of zones was not a bad technique. All of that has changed. Where shall we put the pipeline corridor through the region? Which of the more than 300,000 possible routes will have the lowest ratepayer, environmental, legal, and infrastructure costs? At the farm scale: what is the most profitable crop I can grow this year in all of those fields? At the regional scale, where can we encourage marketing, advertising, printing and warehouse centers for the coming fossil-energy short society? Where does a new goatherd enterprise make sense? Where are farm and heavy-equipment cooperatives likely to be profitable? These are the questions with answers in The Trevey. When these potentials are realized, then conventional zoning with all of its costly delays, litigation, and community-destroying ill-will becomes outdated.

    A proposal is made for the work of The Trevey: Request permission to put development D at point x, y. Query. Results: No constraints or limits are passed. R will improve 1.36 points. Permission suggested. This query could have been made before a formal request, indicating a future strong potential for permission and preventing developers and others from ever going too far down the planning path only to reach later the high costs of being rejected.

    Having sustained development or a sustainable region is an idea with intuitive appeal. It sounds logical, reasonable. When we ask how will we know when we have it, or when we imagine arguing our case in court trying to prove we achieved it, we find the idea may have slipped from our grasp. Suppose we graph a sustained community as in Figure 3. If we look at the line A, the progress of R toward R* over time, we can argue that our system has great stability, no gains, and even though the score is low, we have sustained the system at a constant rate and it never stopped.

    Within The Trevey the issue of sustainability is addressed in several ways. We define what we want. We adopt a long planning period. We continue to slide the planning period 100 years ahead at the end of each year (part of the concept of a dynamic planning system). We accept and expect fluctuation and variation but we continue to move toward R*, then regulate the system as tightly as possible about that (a negative feedback operation). We do not use within the system concepts like "development," "quality of life," "sustainability," or ecosystem management for they are intrinsic to the total, dynamic, system operating for humans.

    Development, by some definitions, means lost quality of life, higher taxes, and lower-wage jobs. Sustained development in a depression or unwise development "at any cost," while achieving that objective, may fail in most other tests. Not yield, not production, not buildings built or land sales . . . but quality of life for citizens subject to a set of reasonable, needed constraints, policies, and laws, is what we need. We need to replace the political slogans and easily-used phrases with our own phrases.

    Public Participation

    The Trevey is a system for guiding people toward writing and then achieving their objectives. That local peoples' objectives (public land management) or owners' objectives are the fundamental driving property of the system is easily lost among discussions about data banks, computers, and economic or ecological issues.

    The objective is formulated precisely (Giles 1981). Citizen efforts in past objective-setting exercises have been confounded by imprecision and mixing of demand, value, and risk and by rarely, if ever, confronting the prospects of substitutable conditions. These efforts have rarely dealt actively in making the full-scale costs estimates over time. They have rarely been able to voice an opinion about an action in relation to their society over the long run, the change in R in relation to R*.

    Citizen or client participation requirements are very great. Exhausting valuation is required and it takes weeks of evening volunteer work. However, once done, this intensive work is not required again for 5 years. Objectives must be somewhat stable. Adjustments may be made in the interim. There are different needed conditions and levels of importance among different populations. Within the system these are unified as sub-populations. The "average person" may not exist. Care to meet the needs of sub-population reduces some conflict while allowing every citizen's needs in some areas to be met.

    Citizen inputs about procedures and processes (suggestions) are allowed, but decisions about these are left to the professionals in the region and their full expression of superior state-of-the-field works is encouraged. Of course citizen ideas, questions, and suggestions are welcomed, but an effort has been made herein to tease apart means and ends, the root of past extreme conflicts in land use management and decisions.

    Who are the publics, the sub-groups, on public lands? This has been a controversial issue. Perhaps every person should be given access to expressing fully seven dimensions of 300 objectives. It is an interesting idea but impractical and infeasible by many measures, chief of which are time and cash. Citizen sampling is appropriate. It too is costly and representativeness is questioned in every conflict situation. "Representative government" is called for. Elected officials "represent" citizens in providing values. Even this has proven a problem; there is great reluctance to represent the wishes of others. Doing so is a time consuming, very particular activity over a very great range of concepts --however these are the full range required for superior decision making by government officials of a region. (The ignorance of individuals, otherwise hidden, can be exposed.) Often elected officials will appoint commissions or committee (by various names) to do this work. Even among them, there may be reluctance. They have often asked (staff) to assign weights of importance, risk levels, etc. This has resulted in increasing resource agency conflict over the years. Decades ago foresters, for example, were representative. They were rural people among rural people. Now their values are very different from those of a highly urban society. Years ago James Kennedy (1970) found little agreement between values of state wildlife biologists and rural folk. The probability of a close match between citizens' objectives and staff objectives seems small. A staff person may argue that he or she is better informed than citizens are. Perhaps, but the point is missed. Needs, wants, importance, willingness to take risks - these are the topics for landowners and citizens, not the technical details of soil erosion rates, tree growth, or toxicity of certain substances. Both are of ultimate importance simultaneously but separately.

    These counter-currents are well known in planning. A solution was made evident in a controversy. Three high level judges presided over an optimum location case. They refused to provide weights that were reflective of citizens' feelings of importance about fairness, equality, or how the proposed project may degrade certain environmental features. Such weights were needed for the analysis. To overcome their reluctance and proceed with the analysis, three analyses were done. This is called a parametric approach. The staff created in a consensus discussion group inputs that they believe that were representative of extremes of attitudes of the public - for example (1) the ultra-protective, long-range viewing people and (2) the exploitative, short-range viewing people. Then a mid-range -- the all-around, reasonable person. These are caricatures (often humorous) but by their use, a type of simulation can be run that allows three results from computer analyses that can be compared by most observers. When the analyses have been conducted, we have found that (1) there is not an equal distance in results between the so-called mid-range people and the extremes. The best efforts to describe the central tendency fail. As observers say the extreme (high or low) was not that far from the good guys. The other observation has been that on large projects (e.g., selecting a utility corridor) there is amazing similarity of location for all groups, perhaps 60 percent of the distance. These differences in citizen values expressed in the objectives cause the route to

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