A Rural System Case Study: The Morel Mushroom Forest System

Rural System, Inc., the forming enterprise, plans to work with simple and complex systems. Understanding and managing natural systems based on the best available knowledge can lead to improvements in the benefits had from the system. In this case, by understanding the system in which morel mushrooms are best propagated, land managers are able to manage the system to obtain more morel mushrooms in a given season.

morel forestEcology is the study of plants and animals and their relations to each other and their environment. Thus, ecology is the study of almost everything in rural areas. That’s what ecologists have to examine, and some as those within Rural System try to use the results of such studies to improve human conditions or prevent them from worsening. [Read more…]

The Human Health Costs of Environmental Degradation

We’ve talked about how land management practices can affect long-term profits off the land, but profits aren’t the only thing at stake. Land management directly affects how ecological functions help or harm human health. Effects on human health can be as obvious as how pollution affects the lungs or as convoluted as how forest cover affects malaria. This is best illustrated with examples.Photo by Risa Pesapane in Uganda: deforestation and erosion.Children in Uganda pose before deforested hills with erosion problems. Photo courtesy of Risa Pesapane. [Read more…]

The Havens Project: A Vision of Computer Guided Forest Management

“My son-in-law, on seeing a thin white worm in mud in a pond below the Peculiar Manor cabin that we were cleaning out, jumped into the pond and said, ‘Let’s get it!’,” writes Dr. Robert Giles. “At age 55, I was still learning from him about childlike excitement.” We all need this enthusiasm for life and wonder, and Dr. Giles thinks this especially necessary for a wildlife manager.375_628602523403_1118_n

Even before founding Rural System, Dr. Giles has been looking for ways to re-connect people with the land that supports them. He emphasizes that land and always has a rich, historical dimension as well as the potential for thriving ecological systems. [Read more…]

An Inclusive Future: Managing the Rural Ecosystem

Pesapane_Uganda_2013 (366)Standing in a forest you are surrounded by movement. Even as you still your breath you can hear the leaves on the ground twitch and rustle, and the green around you waves in the wind. Imagine you can feel the ground beneath your toes. Imagine sweet pine scent kisses your nose. Are you separate from this place in this moment? Or are you, too, a natural being? [Read more…]