In 1981 Haim Zaban became head of JNF's Land Development Authority, overseeing forestry, and made a surprising discovery that changed forestry in Israel forever. He worked out that the cost of cutting and clearing a tree was more than the economic value of the timber. Dryland forestry provided a broad range of benefits. But in a land of limited rainfall and poor soils, a profitable timber industry was not one of them. New policies and practices coalesced in every realm of forestry: matching tree species with soil type; diversifying plantings; reducing stand density; encouraging natural regeneration; preventing fires; and increasing handicapped accessibility and integrated pest management.
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