(photo credit: KKl-JNF)
KKL-JNF's Afforestation Division hosted two experts on forest products utilization from the United States Forestry Service (USFS), Mark Knaebe and Larry Swan, in order to learn from their experience and to see how it might be applied in Israel. Kalil Adar, the director of KKL-JNF's Northern Region Forestry Department, who accompanied the guests during their visit, described the purpose of their trip to Israel: "KKL-JNF is interested in reviewing everything connected to what can be done with the trees that are cut down in our forests due to thinning in both young and mature forests, salvage logging operations after forest fires like the Carmel blaze, and more, along with what we call slash, a term for the branches and other forest materials that are a product of pruning and forest care.
"The wood products of Israel's forests are removed by subcontractors who need markets in order to make it profitable for them to continue working. Today, most of the wood is sold as firewood, but markets are constantly changing and we need to be able to offer various alternatives. Some of these subcontractors are already second or third generation. A study that was conducted by Dr. Uri Korin showed that we actually have some large diameter trees, both pine and cypress, from which it is possible to produce strong and beautiful lumber. In addition, the slash can be and is used for mulch in both agriculture and public spaces.
"We don’t have nearly enough wood to prevent importing lumber to Israel, but KKL-JNF would like to see more cities, regional councils and public sites making use of blue and white timber for garden furniture, picnic tables, and so on. Our American colleagues were very attentive and will be preparing a detailed report and analysis that we hope to receive a couple months from now. We're looking forward to seeing their conclusions."
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