Rural System, Inc.
 Sustained rural lands; sustained profits

Sophisticated Resource Management

The proposed conglomerate has been discussed. A main part of creating Rural System, Inc. is to develop a system for modern sophisticated resource management. We need it. We need to implement and demonstrate it ... and to sell it.

Using the gross analogy of the region as a factory, sustained profits from almost any factory require a clean, orderly, well-managed place of production. By analogy, high quality outdoor recreation and satisfactory tourism requires a safe, clean, beautiful, stable or improving, non-threatening environment. The region has that now, and it can be improved, then stabilized with intensive management. We are of a notion, somewhat like that of the farmer who "ain't farmin' half as good as I know how." We know of few places where advanced techniques of natural resources are abundantly applied, interactively, in a sophisticated manner backed by high technology and literally millions of dollars of past studies and research.We do know of special applications of pieces of knowledge and excellent demonstration areas for single phenomena and processes, but we know of no place where total systems management is attempted. We know of the monumental needs in regional rural area improvement efforts. We cannot find where cost-effectiveness rules; we see merely efforts in achieving single-minded efficiencies and expenditures.

I'm not proposing research by the enterprise (for at least 5 years) because there are already more findings that need to be used than can be used in that period. Herein is a system design that can work. We can rely heavily upon geographic information systems of the Conservation Management Institute of Virginia Tech which has produced the above vegetation map of Virginia. We will use satellite-based locations (GPS) in our fieldwork, and these, along with field computers and new forest inventory software, can result in major forest resource development economies. We will use combined simulations and heuristic optimization for the diverse tasks encountered on different Pivotal Tracts.

Above all, we have the clarifying objective of profit maximization (but we hasten to repeat a major difference from typical business practice ... profit from the total land and entrepreneurial system over a 150-year planning period). We have new algorithms for vegetation transitions ("ecological succession") and for scheduling land treatments and timber harvests. We have watershed models, ways to map the upland soils, and ways to estimate and map changing "biodiversity." We employ feedback at most decision nodes, probably matching well with the much-discussed "adaptive management." We work at the regional scale, but have data about the conditions in very small land units throughout the region. We use the
Generally, a computer searches (the large arrow) for the optimum solution (the best or least-bad point or region) within a space defined by a set of conditions (often phrased as constraints, limits, or policies).
Internet to provide land-use plans to individual landowners, plans that contain the results of computer optimization. We provide analyses of populations of animals as pests (e.g., deer) or as much-sought hunted species. We have access to a vast local as well as international library system and knowledge base. Working with premises of general systems theory, we are building a database about the region as the enterprise matures in concept and application. Waste of information is reduced; "re-discovering" is inefficient. We use advanced prognostic or forecasting software and procedures, even improvements for local conditions and processes. We can exploit the resources of Virginia Tech and other colleges and universities as they may relate to the area, for now we have a
Resist Suboptimizing
clear quantifiable objective (unlike public resource areas), a format, and a process. We may be one of the first to "get it all together," to develop a working system for rural land optimization. We know we can do it for individual ownerships. When conditions are right, we know we can do it for large multi-county regions.

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about some of the topic(s) above at

Maybe we can work together
... for the good of us all
... for a long time.

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