Eternal Forest Protocol

Can a mature forest be reverse engineered? Can its growth be planned from scratch? Accelerated at a hyper-natural rate to a self-sustaining escape velocity? In Japan there are different protocols for growing forests. Some, like the Miyawaki method, aim to produce a simulacrum of a mature forest in a handful of years. In contrast, a 200-year plan underlines the design of the Meiji Jingu forest in Tokyo’s center. Millennia-old shrine forests across the Japanese archipelago serve as reference points for these modern forest-generating protocols, setting the standards for what species count as “native” vegetation. Eternal Forest Protocol is an atlas of these forest-growing algorithms, articulating the instructions undergirding the composition of some of the most complex superorganisms on earth.


Sounds like a good protocol. What about creative work with the memetic potential? :smiley:

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One wrinkle you might incorporate is changing climate patterns. In the US Northwest, some foresters are opting to plant species from drier, more drought-prone climate. e.g. planting incense cedar where douglas fir has been the forest’s main tree

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Cheers! Yes, one thing I’ve thought of is the parallel between the initial stages of these forest protocols, which involve finding the right species that will thrive in a particular environment, and the need to construct these visualizations in such a way that they will thrive and spawn in the online environment.

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Absolutely! Thanks very much. Indeed, this seems bound up with the time horizon question. If you are planning a forest that evolves over the next 200 years, are you accounting for climatic shifts within that window of time?

Interesting protocol.

Have you come across the concept of Forest Gardens, cultivating a forest for edible foods. I have only dipped in, but this book on the topic is great - Creating a Forest Garden – The Agroforestry Research Trust. I imagine it has many suggestions that could be considetred forest-generating protocols.

The other thing associated with this, is a theory I recently came across in the book 1491 which draws on academic research about the americas before Columbus. It suggests that maybe the Amazon, which has a high proportion of trees producing edible fruits is actually the result of human cultivation. Whether true or not, it is fascinating to contemplate that something as vast and remote could be the result of human intention.

Really nice idea, especially the opener which sounds like you’d be doing some research into forest growth patterns on top of cataloguing established silviculture practices. There’s a wide spectrum of forestry between undisturbed and planned that would be fascinating to articulate the protocols of.

Absolutely love this idea.

Have you read Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being? There is a speculative element in the story about someone who is planting forests with future climate shifts in mind.

I think it’s also worth expanding the understanding of forest beyond the frame of simply the flora. The fauna and funga are equally important parts of the forest - what kind of planning around multispecies relationships can be implemented?

Thank you for the reference! That book sounds brilliant.

I’d like to add a contribution of other-than-humans in generating forests, e.g. squirrels & crows that distribute & burry nuts as the seeds of the future trees… and their “planning” might be a good thing to mimic in our own behaviour / protocol design: random, multi-generational, playful…

(see also my story proposal “Internet of Squirrels” :slight_smile:


yeah that’s what I was thinking too! beavers… check out the beaver institute too!