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The Petrohan Training and Experimental Forest Range – the village of Barzia has had 120-year history. In 1928 it was granted the special status as a centre for practical training and scientific research. The beech stands in the range are considered among the best in Europe. They are unique in terms of their productivity and multifunctional purpose. Generations of foresters and research workers have dedicated their efforts and skills to the forest at the village of Barzia. Due to their dedication and commitment the range has acquired a very good reputation in the region and throughout the country.
The Petrohan Training and Experimental Forest Range has been named after the Petrohan Pass. It is located on the north-eastern slopes of Western Balkan Range. Its total area amounts to 7192 ha.
The relief of the range is typically mountainous, steep, with deeply cut river valleys and steep minor ridges. The lowest point of the range is at an altitude of 350 m; the highest point is at an altitude of 1900 m.
The high proportion of the forest area (88,5%) is located in the middle-mountain forest zone, containing beech and coniferous trees (600-1800 m). The forest area covers the following subzones:
· low-mountain subzone (600-­1000 m altitude) - 37,7%
· middle-mountain subzone (1001­-1500 m altitude) - 44,7%
· high-mountain subzone (1501-­1800 m altitude) - 6,1%
The rest of the wood productive area (11,5%) is located in the low foothill zone and hilly mountain zone of oak forests.

Half of the range area is located on a steep terrain (48,9%). The proportion of the moderately sloping and very steep terrain is respectively 28,9% and 13,9%. The gently sloping (7,5%) and flat terrains (0,8%) represent a small proportion of the range area.
The hydrological network of the range is dense, with constant water flow throughout the year.
The Petrohan Training and Experimental Forest Range is situated in the Northern Bulgarian climatic zone with a moderate continental climate. The climatic characteristics of the low-mountain subzone are as follows: period of vegetation - 5,5-­6 months, average annual temperature of 8­9° С and average annual precipitation between 600-750 mm. In the middle-mountain subzone the period of vegetation is 4-5 months, the temperature is 5,5-­7° С, the precipitation is from  850 to 1000 mm.
The predominant tree species is the Beech, growing on brown forest soils – dark and transitional. It occupies 81,7% of the range afforested area. The Scots Pine occupies 5,8%, the Norway spruce – 4,0%, the Hornbeam – 3,7%, other broadleaved tree species – 2,0% of the afforested area. 
Forests designated for protective functions represent a high percentage of the afforested area - 74,4 %. They are located in a water supply area. A selection forest range has been established on an area of 4,5 %.
The Petrohan forest is one of the earliest measured and managed forests in the country. Its first management plan was implemented in 1893. 
St. Panayotov, a forester, carried out the first management plan and divided the forest into two parts – the Petrohan section and Klisura section. He also determined the amount of the annual harvesting. The developed management plan, however, was often neglected and the felling took place near the primitive woodworking workshops.
The second inventory of the forest was carried out in 1919/1920 on the basis of which a new management plan was drawn up.
In the summer of 1931/1932 another inventory of the Petrohan was made under the supervision of St. Darlev, forest inspector, but the forest management plan was not ready until 1936. In this plan, the forest management requirements for a training and experimental range were taken into consideration. Unfortunately, the plan did not include the effect of the activities carried out by previous plan, as in 1930 all range records were burnt. 
In the following years the range was managed 6 more times: in 1943, 1954, 1965, 1973, 1984 and 1995.
The average inventory indices of the Petrohan Training and Experimental Forest Range are as follows:
1. Total area - 7192,3 ha
2. Afforested area - 6669,0 ha
3. Average age - 97 years
4. Mean site quality II (2,2)
5. Mean density - 0,73
6. Total growing stock (with branches) - 1989 695 cubic metres
7. Mean growing stock per ha (with branches) - 298 cubic metres
8. Total annual increment (with branches) - 24271 cubic metres
9. Mean annual increment per ha (with branches) - 3,64 cubic metres
The total annual harvesting amounts to 199250 cubic metres; the percentage of the main fellings is 69 % and the percentage of the thinning is 28,4 %.
The total area of the stands for thinning amounts to 1743 ha.
The main purpose of the forest range is the carrying out of the practical training of the students from the University of Forestry. It is equipped with a wide range and renovated facilities, training campus, dendrarium, appropriate technical equipment for implementation of the main silvicultural activities.
A significant scientific research is also carried out in the forest range.
Provenance plantations of Austrian Pine and Douglas Fir have been established. A hydrological station had been built in the region of Gavaneshnitsa, as well as acclimatization station for Fallow Deer. Scientific research is being done into the regeneration of the Beech and the creation of two-storey stands.
The projected harvesting is carried out according to the management plan. The young forest stands are cultivated according to the silvicultural requirements. The main fellings are done by using appropriate technology and modern equipment. The conditions for a commercial hunting are increasingly improving. Hunting screens, raised heights, game feeders, saltlicks, river pools and shooting stands have been built. All these provide a prerequisite for the protection and increasing numbers of game as well as for successful hunting tourism. The newly adopted forest and forestry-related legal regulations should not be an impediment for preserving the training and experimental status of the forest range.
Entering the new millennium, the Petrohan Training and Experimental Forest Range should preserve the good traditions and provide multifold activities aiming at assisting the training and research of the forestry specialists.

Name and surname Position E-mail Phone

Eng. Kalin Elenkov Nikolov

Director Training and
Experimental Forest Range
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0887 784 362
09523/26 26
  Vice Director Training and
Experimental Forest Range
Eng. Ivan Genov Ivanov Chief Engineer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0887 789 464
09523/26 58
Sashka Dimitrova Danova Head of Accounting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0887 783 097
09523/26 19
Ivaylo Dobrev Kamenov Manager Student Complex This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0887 414262
09523/26 62

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