Rural System, Inc.
 Sustained rural lands; sustained profits

The Picopine System
pico or 10-12 or one-trillionth

This chapter of Rural System, Inc. began in 1968 when Bob Giles was assigned an office in a closet with Jack Heikkenen in the basement of Price Hall, Virginia Tech, one of the oldest academic buildings on campus. Successful careers subsequently intertwined, met occasionally, but only in 1992 did a modest effort begin in working together. Both had authored textbooks, both were outspoken, both bibliophiles, both foresters who had developed different specialties. Jack advanced in tree physiology and entomology, Bob in wildlife management and systems ecology.

In the late 80's, most of their conversations tended to be about frustrations with natural resource management, managers, and education, about things known but forgotten buy others in the field. They moved into the "timber"class called "old-growth". Then they decided to try to write a little together. That was too difficult. Conversations were easier.

The chapter is about select experiences and concepts, things learned and experience and now believed to be well known by them. It describes failures and rejections, partially to prepare future resource emanagers for the pain. There were abuindant successes. It presents ideas and concepts that they believe are needed within the world of natural resources. Solutions are not available to match all of the problems they see, but many are presented. They suggest that seeing the problem clearly may be the first step to developing solutions... but there may be none.

This chapter is about trees and things, about forestry and what it once meantt and could mean, but it is also about applied science, knowledge, and growing old. It is a strange chapter about two people's work and thought in a very strange field. Strangely, it is more about the future than the past.

Robert H. Giles, Jr. and Herman J. Heikkenen 2-27-92

Possible inserts and notes Computer maps
Textbook ideas - our delays, the value of them- being out of date- out of print
Insect antennae and balck buck
regression ideas
Time and solar sequences
powerline ideas
Cason's work
forest plans
profitable forests
wildlife forests
white pine weevil and Jack's studies relative to injury/damage
fire policy and our experiences
malathion study and isotope scare
boll weevil control and subsequent loss of cotton crop value due to excessive supplies
the way we want to manage - technomogy, aids, etc.

XXXXXXXXXXX Further Pine work....

This chapter is based on field form inputs of county or whether area is judged to be within a coastal plain, then sections of the following are printed based on the entries. The section is under development and suggested future development is within "Cold Fusion" software. One recent analysis noted that of the 160 million of acres in southern US forests, over 8 million acres are bare or poorly stocked and must be planted to pine and another 16 million acres are ready for conversion from low-grade hardwoods to pines (McClurkinn and Duffy 1975:315).

The efforts to do so involve root-raking, disking, chopping, bedding, prescribed fire, fertilizers, herbicides, and combinations of these. The sets of practices may significantly change soil and water quality on any tract ... virtually on 15% of the forest land of the southern US. The potential effects include:

  1. Compaction
  2. Destruction of soil structure
  3. Reduction of infiltration
  4. Increase in surface runoff
  5. Erosion increase on bare soil
  6. The climate at the soil surface may be changed by removal of the cover
  7. The climate below the soil surface may be changed
  8. The C/N ratio is greatly changed by incorporating fresh organic matter into the soil
  9. Acid released by decomposition of vegetation
  10. Nutrients leached by increased acidity
  11. Increased soil weathering
  12. Increased release of plant nutrients from weathering of soil
  13. Released soil nutrients change the quality of ground water and surface water.
  14. Increased stream sediment loads

If coastal plain then print:

Prescribed fires, even repeatedly used, do not substantially damage the physical soil properties. (Severe wildfires, as opposed to prescribed burns, can be expected to increase soil erosion significantly.

Forest fertilization can:

Surface Water Quality

If Coastal Plain Concentrates of N and P in water leaving undisturbed pine plantations on steep areas may be from 0.08 ppm NO3 - N and 0.011 ppm of P. In complex forested and cropped watersheds, the concentrations are 0.16 to 0.24 ppm NO3 - N and 0.033 to 0.045 ppm P. (McC and D 1975)


If Coastal Plain

Sediment yields from severely-eroded watersheds stabilized by planted pines are only 67 kg / ha and rarely exceed 224 kg / ha.

Conversion of low-value hardwoods to pine forests by extensive cultural practices increases yields from 167 to 324 kg / ha. By comparison, agricultural soil losses may be 11,000 kg / ha annually. Small terraced watersheds with grassed waterways may lose 13,500 kg / ha.

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Perhaps you will share ideas with me
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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