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Natural Selection Ecosystem Stewardship

Orville Camp is the author of the renowned "Forest Farmers Handbook" published in 1984.
The subtitle for his book was "A Guide to Natural Selection Forest Management". He is nationally touted as a visionary when it comes to forest and ecosystem relationships.
The term "Natural Selection" was created and used by Charles Darwin.

Orville Camp created the term "Natural Selection" Forest Management because he felt that the term "Forestry" was narrowly constrained to practicing a form of agriculture (ie. planting, growing and cutting trees) like any other agricultural mono-crop. He completely rejects this type of "land slavery" on any lands, private or public.

Natural Selection is the philosophy, science, and occupation of seeing, understanding, and relating to natural community ecosystems through natural selection hunter gatherer relationships. Orville Camp has employed Natural Selection management practices on the 200 acre Camp Ecostery since the early 1970's as well as "set up" other private forest tracts throughout Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.
In 2005 the Medford BLM agreed that the Natural Selection Alternative Meets the Purpose and Need for 501 acres of the South Deer Project in the Southwest Oregon's Siskiyou Mountains. To read the NSA Alternative in the South Deer Project Environmental Assessment.
Here is the BLM response to the Natural Selection Alternative proposed by the Deer Creek Association for the Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR).

Natural Selection Alternative

PP-OR-WOPR-09-0227-1 Organization: Deer Creek Valley Natural Resources Conservation Association Protester: Mary Camp, Orville Camp Issue Excerpt Text: The FEIS failed to disclose that the NSA [natural selection alternative] would maximize carbon sequestration by only harvesting trees when they are dead or dying. The FEIS failed to disclose that the NSA would minimize natural carbon loss through decay of dead and dying trees by converting much of the dead and dying trees to lumber and other useful forest products that would keep the carbon in storage indefinitely and not be released to the atmosphere. Summary The BLM failed to disclose carbon storage benefits of a Natural Selection Alternative.

BLM Response:

As explained in the PRMP/FEIS at 2-169, a natural selection alternative was eliminated from detailed study in the FEIS, including analysis of its potential carbon storage, because it would not meet the purpose and need for action. The purpose and need states that the western Oregon resource management plan revisions must meet all applicable laws. One of the applicable laws is the O&C Act. The O&C Act requires O&C lands classified as timberlands to be managed for permanent forest production following the principles of sustained yield, which include determining and declaring the annual productive capacity of such lands with the timber from those lands (not less than the annual sustained yield capacity) being sold annually. While a natural selection management approach may be practical for a small wooded lot on relatively flat terrain, such an approach is impractical for managing a landscape of the size and ruggedness that is managed by the BLM in western Oregon. The level of roaded access and 78 survey efforts that would be needed to identify and harvest the trees that die on BLM-administered lands in western Oregon every year would be prohibitively expensive both in financial and environmental terms. For additional information on the alternatives in the Western Oregon Plan Revision PRMP/FEIS, please refer to the response for "Range of Alternatives."

If you want to learn more, get involved, or to be notified about future tours at Camp Ecostery send an email to tsuga (at) efn.org
Here are several articles published in southern Oregon newspapers regarding Natural Selection Stewardship and Camp Forest based in southwest Oregon.

In this Center for Investigate Reporting video aired on PBS News Hour in the Fall of 2012, "Tainted Forest", Orville and Mary Camp describe, along with others suffering the same, how they were likely poisoned by herbicide spraying above their home in Selma, Oregon in 2010-11.


Shannon Wilson,
Mar 14, 2013, 4:25 PM