1. Preservation or Creation of Desirable Landscape
In forests and in thickets that grow in forests, grazing changes the landscape significantly. It clears tangled vegetation, removes low branches, gives tall shrubs the form of a tree with a trunk, or trunks, and maintains the “grazing line” that facilitates movement through the forest.
2. Conservation of Resources
Most of the natural resources in Israel’s forests today coexisted for many generations together with the grazing of traditional, mixed herds, often with high levels of grazing intensity. Therefore, grazing meant to ensure the conservation of these resources is not a difficult task. However, extending the functions of the forest to include preservation of historical sites, ancient terraces, interesting archeological remains, unusual habitats and unique plant communities, may often require special protective measures. A forester in charge of managing a forest must be aware of those values that are affected by forest grazing and safeguard them inasmuch as they might be harmed by grazing.
3. Preservation of Biodiversity and Habitats
The level of biodiversity in dense pine and cypress forests is not especially high, but they might sometimes contain spectacular concentrations of flowers such as cyclamens, anemones and other species. In general, grazing increases biodiversity and promotes the growth of geophytes, which are not preferred by the herds that reduce the quantity of dense grasses that compete with the flowering geophytes. Often, as in forests with extensive meadows of cyclamens, there is not a great deal of pasture in any case, so there should not be any grazing there.
4. Leisure, Education, Tourism and Hiking
Forest functions, such as vacationing, hiking, education and research, could be harmed by the presence of animals in the forest. The nuisance of unpleasant smells, turds, flies, and the unsightliness of cages and fences, do not enhance a forest with regard to public purposes, and arrangements must be made so that the animal herds are kept away from sensitive sites and areas. On the other hand, the grazing itself could be an educational and interesting element that exposes the public to the positive and negative effects of animals on the landscape and the vegetation.