Monitoring Landscapes (fwd)

Victor Guest vic at
Sun Jan 25 13:44:32 EST 1998

Reply-To: Conference "chrm.general" <chrm-general at>
From: TrewEarth at


         Sorry to be so slow in replying to your e-mail last week. My wife
Lynn and I have a business called Trew Earth Care here in the northern New
Mexico area. We have for the most part been a Permaculture design,
consultation, and implimentation business. We have also been involved in
teaching P.C. design courses and practicle "Here's How You Do It" courses.
Many of the projects here have not progressed as they should have after the
installation phase, I can see it because of my background and Holistic
Management training; but many of my clients and other Permaculture people
can't. I am starting to use "Biological Monitoring Procedures" as taught by
Holistic Management to try and show these folks what is going on with their
eco-system and to get them to commit to long term planning followed by actions
which would keep succession on the upswing and biodiversity increasing. We
might even get them to practice Holistic Management. 
          The project that I had mentioned to Christopher earlier, is a 20
acre parcel just south of Santa Fe. It is high desert, pinion/juniper,
slightly rolling and on the edge of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Two
separate theories exist as far as it's pre-disturbance state. One was that it
was a climax ponderosa forest for the most part, the other is that it was a
blue-gramma/buffalo grass prarie/savanna. The clients wanted it basically
restored; erosion stopped, and self-perpetuating if possible. We actually came
in at the request of another designer to do the installation work, but ended
up taking over the entire project design and all because of personality
conflicts and lack of clear goals for the "designer" and the clients; all of
which could have been prevented along with many other problems had there been
Holistic Management in place. There has now been approximately 18,000 bareroot
plants installed, three miles of swales, eight small holding ponds laid out in
keyline fashion, 120 tons of granite rock placed in six gabions, five miles of
drip tubing, the entire 20 acres mulched with native grass and straw. Last
year an additional two and one half million gallons of runoff rainfall was
caught and held on the property.( 12 to 16 inch annual rainfall) Everybody
believes that this property is going to do nothing but improve in biodiversity
if just left alone now. The problem as I see it is that no disturbance is
planned, from here on out complete rest is the only tool that will be used. I
plan to track this project for the long term with biological monitoring in
order to record and document the success or failure of the practices used

                                                           David & Lynn Trew

More information about the permaculture mailing list