Fallow planets and the Tradition of Fallow Reserve

The Tradition of Fallow Reserve is the Galactic practice of leaving biospheres uninhabited and unexploited by sapient species for durations long enough to allow recovery of species diversity and for the probability of pre-sentience to reach at least 124 per_128 of theoretical asymptotic maximums.  All Organic species are subject to the Tradition of Fallow Reserve, that dates back 2.71 G.hab-Y.A. (100000010101011110010010100000002 hab-Y.A.) when the Progenitors stumbled upon theTragedy of Galaxy ThreeThe current practice of O-2/H-2 bloc migrations dates to just after the Second O-2/H-2 Trucial Agreements that gave the Galactic Institute of Migration the rudiments of its modern form and empowered the G.I.M. to supervise and enforce Traditions of Migration and Ecological Traditions.

With minor exceptions (such as Home World leased planets), all biologically viable terrestrial planets in regions under H-2 dominion are Fallow for the duration of H-2 dominion.  The reverse is also true, with almost all biologically viable gas giants in a region of O-2 dominion being Fallow for the entire tenure of O-2 life in the region.  However, since an H-2/O-2 region tenure usually lasts for several O-2 species lifetimes, individual terrestrial planets will go through multiple cycles of occupation and Fallow during an O-2 regional lease-hold.

The limiting factor determining the H-2/O-2 cycle of inter-order migration are the much slower bio-rhythms of H-2 life.  The duration of regional lease-holds is usually negotiated so that there is a 126 per_128 chance that 120 per_128 H-2 species participating in a regional migration will have passed on prior to the end of the regional lease-hold treaty.  This means that a regional lease-hold has a duration of roughly one-billion (or 10000000000000000000000000000002) hab-years.  This is roughly a duration of 3.6 'C'-Class lease-holds.
        As a rule a 'C'-Class planet will lie fallow for as long as it is occupied --or a period of 300 million (or 100100100000000000000000000002) hab-years.  However, actual Fallow periods vary considerably (and are often much shorter than the norm).  Recovery is assessed empirically by the G.I.M. and GUI at frequent intervals.
        An O-2 biosphere that has been badly damaged, or that is recovering unusually slowly, is a candidate for active bio-sphere remediation.  A member of Galactic society is given limited rights of occupation with the proviso that it make a good-faith effort to restore the planetary ecology to good health.  In O-2 space the standard remediation lease is called a Class-'B' lease-hold and is issued for 50 K hab-Y (11000000000000002 hab-Y).  It is renewable.  The G.I.M. often rewards particularly effective remediation programs with incentives ranging from a few thousand hab-years of lease extension, to rights in a garden world.

Without G.I.M. permission settlement on, or resource extraction from, a Fallow planet is expressly forbidden.  Exemptions are seldom granted.  (Tradition makes allowances for hydrogen refueling, reasonable and strictly necessary life-support re-supply, and marooning.)  Violations are almost always detected by solid Galactic citizens visiting the planet on legitimate business, the frequent G.I.M. and GUI survey missions, and by G.I.M. Wardens and automated sentries.  In any event, illegal settlements will be discovered when the planet is again leased.
        Violations are met with punishments ranging from condemning illegal settlers to 'A'-Class planets with quite primitive technology, accompanied by fines levied against the species as a whole, to extermination of the offending species down to --and including --the root-stock.

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modified by Andrew Crystall, Biology Editor in July 1999.