Play with a Full DeckHumans 'manage'. Nature 'functions'. These are crucial distinctions, because it means that as a land manager you must make management decisions. Management means: making deliberate decisions to use a tool or tools. It is our ability to use these tools that distinguishes humans from almost all other organisms. So what are the tools?
When boiled down to the bare minimum there are just three primary and six secondary tools we can access, although between them there are perhaps billions of possible permutations. The primary tools are human creativity, human labour, and money. The six secondary tools are technology, fire, rest, grazing, animal impact, and living organisms.
Wherever you are on the planet, every management action you make will involve at least one (and perhaps more) of the three primary tools, and one or more of the secondary tools.
- For convenience the technology tool is considered to include all items that were envisaged first within a human mind, and then later physically created. Using this definition, technology includes everything from a primitive flint axe to the most complex devices ever invented by mankind.
- 'No fire lit by man is natural' is an important principle to take on board. Be aware that this statement does not condemn fire but merely positions its use. Unquestionably, deliberately using fire as a manipulative tool is a legitimate management action. Whether a fire is natural or deliberately used, almost always it will need to be followed by one or more of the other five secondary tools.
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