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Truth in the Adage
There are some turns of phrase we find particularly appropriate in this line of work
"Last to go, first to sow"
When working to revitalize the land, the first native plants to put in the ground should be the last species to disappear in your area. While working with rare native plants is noble, and not to be discouraged, these specialized plants generally don't thrive as well as hardy species that have stood the test of time.
"Last of the least, best of the rest"
The Nature Conservancy's mantra. When working to preserve biodiversity, focus in on the species that are most vulnerable and likely to disappear first. For example, a type of rare butterfly. The other priority is to preserve the best, most intact, robust, and rich examples of the natural resource in question. Perhaps a big patch of native California Blackberry.
"A stitch in time saves 9"
Catching an invasion of plants or a drainage problem early in the game can mean the difference between a small job and a huge job, costing thousands of dollars. Recognizing the problem and addressing it the right way the first time is always best.
"Clean as you go, sign of a pro"
Waiting to clean up the whole mess at the end may seem logical, but in fact it can cause a lot of problems. Experts in all the trades know the way to clean is little by little, so as not to become overwhelmed with your mess at the end.
"Out of sight, out of mind"
Whether trying to preserve or trying to control something in nature, the power of observation is the most important skill when managing land. Things can be hidden because they're remote, hard to access, or they're fleeting. Land management issues left unseen often become the most damaging and expensive.
"Pay attention to the ounces and the pounds will take care of themselves"
Choosing where to begin can be overwhelming and prevent one from starting at all. But if you begin with knowledge, confidence, and without fear, one can be sure the benefits will be seen in volumes over time.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Catching and solving a problem early in the process is relatively easy. Trying to solve a problem once it's very advanced is going to be more expensive in time and resources. Examples of preventative maintenance include stopping rotting wood, clearing a clogged drain, or preventing the colonization of an invasive plant.
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