The forest office area is almost entirely in the area of the Palatinate Forest Nature Park and thus also in the cross-border Palatinate Forest-Northern Vosges Biosphere Reserve. The Palatinate Forest is the largest contiguous forest area in Germany. This area needs to be protected in order to preserve biological diversity and enable sustainable human use. To achieve this, the area of the biosphere reserve is divided into different zones:
- Core zones (for natural, undisturbed development)
- Care zones (for eco-friendly ways of doing business)
- Development zones (for permanently environmentally compatible developments and uses)
There are 5 core zones in the area of the forestry office:
- In the western part the Hundsberg core area (81 ha ) with an extension area (66 ha ),
- In the center the Enkenbach Valley with 234 ha
- In the east the Gleisberg with 37 ha
- In the eastern part the core zone Neidenfels with 110 ha as well as
- the Erlenbach Valley with 272 ha.
In these forest areas, the natural forest development should take place after a transition phase. The goal of the core zones is free development without direct human influence. Nature has a free hand and should develop into the so-called “primeval forests of tomorrow”. This natural forest development is also scientifically supported in 3 natural forest reserves by the Rhineland-Palatinate Research Institute for Forest Ecology and Forestry. You can find a very detailed, interactive and up-to-date map of the zoning here.
Natura 2000 is a network of protected areas, with important habitats of flora and fauna. The network runs through the entire European Union. The selection of the areas is based on criteria specified throughout Europe in the Birds and Habitats (Flora, Fauna, Habitat) guidelines .
Currently, approx 37 % of the state forest of Johanniskreuz (almost 6000 ha ) is part of the European Natura 2000 or Bird sanctuary. This proportion corresponds to approximately 16 % of the total area of the FFH area in the Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve. You can view a current map here. The aim of the local FFH area is the preservation or the restoration of the typical local beech and light oak-hornbeam forests.