The Herding Principle
Livestock grazing is often used as a management tool to deal with wildfire risk worldwide. Long before the 2016 wildfires reached Zichron Yaakov, cattle (and goats) grazed around Ramat Hanadiv open landscapes as an integral part of the park management plan.
While the Nature Park provides nutritional forage for the cattle, the amount of vegetation, which later on could be used as dry fuel, is reduced by grazing activity. When grazing and other fuel reduction practices are not allowed to take place, fuel such as dead dry grass accumulate, increasing fuel loads and the result is wildfires. Apart from dealing with wildfires, grazing is also used for maintaining the indigenous landscape diversity by creating grazed and ungrazed patches.
Soon after the rains stop, the cattle herd will enter Ramat Hanadiv for the grazing season, during which the cows will join our goats and sheep and provid us with grazing services, in return asking only for food and water. The cattle herd will only stay with us until May, and then move back home to Binyamina, where they will be given supplementary food until the next grazing season.