Rural System Tracts are private lands willingly brought under contract with Rural System for restoration (as needed), protection, preservation, and typically for longterm active modern sophisticated management for longterm bounded sustained profits.
They are usually more than 50 acres in size but several small areas may be developed as a common tract. They are typically in rural areas but may be large wooded and wetland urban tracts, corporate lands, and others (e.g., aggregates of town and city small holdings). They have been related by some people as somewhat like well-known state forests or parks but they are private lands and are used only by certain members of Rural System organizations or during planned events. They are land being used to produce annual profits for the land owner while he or she waits for the financial returns of the typical clearcut-cycle of lands with trees. That out-moded cycle is rarely even considered in the modern computer- aided decisions about longterm, profitable forest management that accompany profitable total land management
The owner specifies objectives and limits and turns over management of the area to the staff of Rural System. A dynamic computer-based management plan is produced. The land goes under certification within Smartwood as being in the process of becomming a " sustainable forest." Boundaries are well marked; use by various Groups is planned and initiated; roads and trails are improved as needed; the tract is inspected by security; forest, wildlife, plant, and fishery inventories are conducted; the plan is dynamically revised; modern silviculture is installed and may include some tree harvests to improve and set in motion profit gains for the future; hunting and fishing potentials (with fees) are managed; recreational use, where feasible, is sponsored.
The owner gains annually a proportion of the profits from the entire enterprise. The proportions are discussed under the Bottomline. The actual proportion is a function of the quality-weighted acres of the owner(s) as they are a proportion of the total acres held under management by Rural System. The more acres, the greater the profits, thus the greater the profits for each land owner participant .. all in proportion to the acres they hold. (A quality-weighting scheme for expressing the relative value and owner-decided limits on uses of each acre is used.) There are incentives for people to encourage others to bring their lands into the system, to expedite practices, to perform more profitably.
Believing that agriculture and forestry have "mined the soil" for years, staff view certain investments as the cost of business to restore and improve productivity of those land volumes. This proportion is also discussed in the Bottomline.
September 26, 2004