Members of the Social, Economic, Environmental Forestry Association of Ireland (SEEFA) protesting against Government delays in granting licences, which SEEFA say, is forcing imports of timber while Irish trees cannot be planted or felled and threatening 12,000 industry jobs
Forestry owners hold a protest outside the Convention Centre where the Dáil is sitting over a bureaucratic backlog which has rendered Ireland reduced to importing extra timber from the UK and Europe and left 6,000 forestry owners without a licence.
They literally can’t see the woods from their trees.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said:
“Farmers are being denied the right to manage their forests. They planted their land with the legitimate expectation that they would be able to thin and realise an income during its rotation, but the delays mean that this is no longer a reality for many,”
“This is jeopardising the entire industry, from nurseries to sawmilling, with hundreds of jobs already lost. The increased volume of imported timber is placing the health of the forest estate at unnecessary risk.
Not to mention the economic burden on forest owners who cannot release the equity in their forests or who are watching the value of their timber crop decrease by over €10,000/ha if they cannot get a licence to thin.”
Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett is seeking views on the Draft Agriculture Appeals (Amendment) Bill 2020 which critics claim will leave the ability to appeal forestry decisions “compromised”
Consultations are currently open on a bill to change the appeals process for forestry licences.
The proposed changes seek to make it harder to appeal licence decisions for forestry projects (such as sitka spruce plantations) by introducing eligibility criteria for individuals of NGOs, as well as proposing the introduction of fees to file an appeal.
Consultation on changes (at links below) close this Friday. Please share. Thank you
This is where the land slide in Leitrim started. Hard to believe land and trees just floated away. All the cracks seem to be where drainage and mounding took place for planting. 😡 pic.twitter.com/OIaECTwkoT