All the Trees of the Forest: Israel’s Woodlands from the by Alon Tal

By Alon Tal

In this insightful and provocative publication, Alon Tal offers an in depth account of Israeli forests, tracing their background from the Bible to the current, and descriptions the trouble to remodel drylands and degraded soils into wealthy parks, rangelands, and ecosystems. Tal’s description of Israel’s trials and mistakes, and his exploration of either the environmental historical past and the present coverage dilemmas surrounding that country's forests, will supply worthwhile classes within the years yet to come for different components of the realm trying to reestablish timberlands.

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It is a hopeless, dreary, heart-broken land. . Palestine is desolate and unlovely. ∏≥ George Marsh, although largely forgotten today, was much more famous than Mark Twain when he visited Palestine in 1864. S. congressman, a past American ambassador to the Ottoman empire and Greece, and an accomplished linguist. He was also passionate about reducing human impact on the earth and highly erudite in his presentation. Frequently called ‘‘the first environmentalist’’ because of these positions, Marsh argued convincingly in favor of conservation and was among the original geographers to identify the process of desertification.

On the watershed is a thin layer of chalk and stunted pines are found on the very top of the mountain. ’’π∞ The German geographer Leo Anderlind’s description of his visit to the Carmel from 1884 also contains a rich account of terebinth, arbutus, carob, laurel, and of course, oak trees. ‘‘In the center and higher parts of the mountain, the forest is tall containing a considerable quantity of Aleppo pine over sizeable areas. In certain places, about three kilometers south east of the Carmelite monastery, the dominant trees are 10–12 year old pines.

Twain describes a land with ‘‘no timber of any consequence—none at all to waste upon fires’’ —and he offers vivid descriptions of almost total deforestation as he crisscrosses the country. After boarding the boat home in the Jaffa Port he summarizes his impressions of Palestine: Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince. The hills are barren, they are dull of color, they are unpicturesque in shape. The valleys are unsightly deserts fringed with a feeble vegetation that has an expression about it of being sorrowful and despondent.

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