Yatir forest, located at the semi-arid transition zone, is the largest planted forest in Israel, having a significant part in Israel’s afforestation tradition. This, in addition to its significant contribution to local and global research related to dryland afforestation, desertification & climate change.
Within the forest are located plenty of archeological sites attracting visitors around the year. Moreover, significant natural values existing in the forest include population of Mauntain Gazelles, various raptor species nesting in the forest or using it as a stopover site during migration, Large Sternbergia blooming patches, and rare plant species growing in heavy soil patches, mainly in narrow valleys in the forest and at the edges of agricultural plots.
In contrast to most of the coniferous forests located at the Mediterranean zone in Israel, natural regeneration processes of Pine trees, which could be used to maintain forest cover continuity, are absent in Yatir.
During the last two years we developed a long-term ecological forest management & master plan for Yatir forest. This was done as part of a large, ongoing strategic planning process for all the forests managed by KKL on a national scale, and in the context of climate change and its challenges for forest management
In addition to updating the forest management goals, the plan dealt with various management dilemmas such as the physiological status & viability of the forest, and the absent of natural tree regeneration.
The planning process and its products, which will be presents during the lecture, emphasize that sustainable forest planning principles, as defined in KKL’s forest management policy, are relevant to forests planted at the semi-arid transition zone in Israel and allow KKL to continue managing the forest in a long-term perspective for the provision of a wide range of ecosystem services.