Rural System, Inc.
 Sustained rural lands; sustained profits

The Plant People
of Nature Folks

The Plant People is a profit-oriented group with objectives of preserving and protecting plants of the region, advancing knowledge of plants and their role in the ecosystem, encouraging diverse wild-plant-related recreation, encompassing responsible ecotourism, encouraging restoration of plant communities, and encouraging responsible wild plant gardening in the region.

The activities within the group, in no particular order, are:

  1. Creating a membership
  2. Publishing a newsletter
  3. Making phenology studies (timing of plant changes such as bud break)
  4. Creating county and regional plant occurrence checklists
  5. Conducting surveys and tours
  6. Participating in joint biodiversity surveys
  7. Managing special wild-plant-emphasis trails
  8. Selling books
  9. Selling checklists
  10. Conducting poisonous-plant surveys
  11. Conducting wildlife food (mast) surveys
  12. Encouraging Rural System, Inc. gardens
  13. Studying limits of the non-timber forest resource (decorative plants, etc.)
  14. Selling maps (especially of frost periods and suitability zones)
  15. Selling related software
  16. Encouraging plant-related art
  17. Maintaining a web site
  18. Holding an annual conference
  19. Encouraging and selling photographs
  20. Helping to develop a local herbarium
  21. Develop a seeds collection and wildlife food analysis system
  22. Developing files on medicinal plants
  23. Exploring commercial potentials in dyes, medicinals, and preservatives
  24. Reviewing plant and plant ecology related books
  25. Developing local plant identification aids and a training course and walkway
  26. Developing a wild garden where "gleanings" from developed areas are placed
  27. Writing and developing books and CD-ROMs (See Ken Stein's Appalachian plants CD)
  28. Creating a game and regional contest related to plant identification
  29. Sponsoring photograph display events
  30. Creating a book or information system on plant and insect relations
  31. Mapping wild plant locations with GPS locations
  32. Sponsoring research on all aspects of the region's The Plant People
  33. Participating in comprehensive modeling effort, simulation and optimization
  34. Developing thoughtful papers on plant diversity; viability of populations; plants in ecosystems; plant-to-plant, plant-to-animal, and plant-to-geology relationships
  35. Working to achieve knowledge of and engaging in practical efforts to manage fires as they effect The Plant People
  36. Assisting in baseline descriptions
  37. Promoting special studies of the roots and plants in the root-zone of The Plant People
  38. Developing cost-effective rare-species recovery plans, especially those related to probability of occurrence using logistic regression with GIS information and GPS located sample plants
  39. Encouraging contributions of time, money, and knowledge to wildland studies
  40. Encouraging ecological tours throughout the world
  41. Promoting interest of minorities in The Plant People and their systems
  42. Promoting and developing a computer wild plant information system and web site
  43. Working with the Fire Force in describing effects of wildfires on plants and top soil

Other ideas include sponsoring garden tours; developing gardens with places (alcoves) for many people to sit and rest, perhaps with tea service; expert systems for plants and plant diseases and pests; a county-fair weekend presentations of topics, publications and CDs; e-commerce with many suppliers, and a botany school resulting in special honors, awards, and knowledge competition. It also includes working with AOL or others for percentages on book sales.

Sample 2004 email note for aid in developing similar local programs:

FREE Native Plant Conservation Workshops: April 2004

Throughout April 2004 the Carlsbad Caverns/Guadalupe Mountains Association will sponsor the second-annual free programs for the public focusing on native plant conservation. With trailside workshops taking place each weekend, visitors and amateur and professional naturalists, artists, and writers will be converging at the park to participate in interactive workshops lead by professionals, to learn more about park flora, from wildflowers to desert cacti. In addition to its many caves, the Carlsbad Caverns National Park preserves one of the few protected portions of the northern Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem. The desert reveals, upon close examination, complex natural processes that yield an astounding abundance and diversity of plant and animal life. The area is vital habitat for approximately one thousand species of flowering vegetation. >From the upper reaches of Walnut Canyon Drive where the red, tri-lobed Woolly Paintbrush and White-Eyed Phlox thrive, along the extensive Visitor Center Nature Walk with its profusions of Claret-Cup Cacti and deep into some of the most picturesque canyons in the Chihuahuan Desert Region, participants can look forward to exciting hands-on activities suitable for most ability and fitness levels. All events are free, except the college credit field course. Space is limited, so advance registration is advised. For the latest updates and to register, please contact Paula Bauer at 505-785-3131 or via e-mail at For schedule of events and background information:

See Herbage( Fourth Edition contains 30,523 Plant Species, 18,200 Common Names, and 312,079 links to current internet resources, including 9,341 links to scientific abstracts on PubMed. All of the internet resources, which are new in this edition, were compiled in April of 2004. Herbage was first initiated in 1992.

This may be the group from which a "climate-friendly farming" project is initiated. This includes the major GIS components that allow animals, trees, and crops to be carefully placed to receive optimum water and temperature and insolation during a growing season (See a related project at

See Flora of Virginia Project

A special botanist will need to be recruited and part time help developed with others in the region. As many of the other groups, each requires one or more people with special knowledge as well as enthusiasm for a topic. The search may be difficult but it may inform botanists (with limited employment options) that there is valuable work to be done that can pay its way.

See Invasive Plants (Development costs: $50,000). Estimates of profits for Rural System, Inc.:

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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