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Tag Archives: Forestry

Research highlights environmental importance of forestry

RESEARCH carried out on behalf of Coillte shows that there is an almost universal view among the public that forests are important in helping to address the climate crisis. In April this year, Coillte, the semi-state forestry company, announced a new forestry strategic vision which aims to deliver multiple benefits from its forests and bring more focus to climate action, setting ambitious new targets on biodiversity and recreation, while continuing to deliver for the forest and wood products industry. The new approach aims to sustainably balance and deliver the multiple benefits from Ireland’s state forests across four strategic pillars: climate, wood, nature, and people. RED C independently analysed feedback from both Coillte’s public attitude survey and Coillte’s public consultation process, completed during summer 2022, which was part of Coillte’s commitment to consult widely with key stakeholders on its new strategic vision. The survey, conducted among a nationally representative sample of adults in June 2022, was combined with the response to Coillte’s public consultation process, and shows there is an almost universal view that …

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Forestry leaving Clare rural roads like ‘moonscapes’

DAMAGE caused by forestry extraction to roads in West Clare has been compared to a “moonscape”, by one member of the local authority.  Councillor Cillian Murphy was speaking in support of a motion from the Cathaoirleach at the May meeting of Clare County Council. The chairperson, Councillor PJ Ryan called for the enactment of a bye-law holding timber harvesting benefactors responsible for any damaged to public roads during extraction operations. “Most councillors will have come across this,” he said. “The issue is very prominent in West, East and South East Clare. When the roads are damaged, it’s virtually impossible to get any kind of contribution. “These roads were never designed for these kinds of trucks. Some were only designed for a horse and cart. When the road gets damaged, it’s back to the local authority and it’s a huge drawn on our roads funding schemes. Residents are up in arms. They are asking why those taking out timber ore not …

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O’Callaghan demands action as forestry crisis deepens

ACTION is being sought from the Department of Agriculture to support those who invested in forestry, but now find themselves facing red tape and delays in securing their nest egg. Councillor Alan O’Callaghan was among those who recently attended a virtual meeting on the deepening crisis in the forestry sector, organised by senior members of Fianna Fáil. He said that many in Clare have been “left in limbo” over delays with the issuing of forestry licences, particularly those for thinning and felling. He also said that many of the 30 people in attendance raised concerns over compensation for ash die-back in their plantations. Councillor O’Callaghan also warned that unless the forestry sector is made more attractive, the entire farming community will suffer as a result of an increased obligation to reduce carbon emissions. At the end of the two-hour Zoom meeting, it was agreed that the issue would be pursued through the tabling of Parliamentary Questions (PQs) with a view …

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Forestry owners want to cut tree felling licence delays

CLARE forestry owners with mature trees are waiting more than 12 months in some cases to secure a tree felling licence due to red tape, a local deputy has claimed. Deputy Michael McNamara recently asked the new Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue the measures he will take to address the backlog in applications for planting permits and felling licences in the forestry section in a Dáil question. Deputy McNamara said it is legitimate that people want to plant trees but it is also legitimate that nobody wants a monoculture sitka spruce plantation surrounding their house. The Independent Deputy said there is no point in pretending that planting sitka spruce will help the environment as it is a short term cash product. In addition to requesting more ecologists in the Department of Agriculture, Deputy McNamara stressed the Department of Agriculture had to adequately deal with a variety of issues concerning tree felling and planting. “We need timber but it is all a …

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Warning on wildfire risks

Farmers, landowners and anyone enjoying the recreational opportunities of our countryside have been warned to behave responsibly and within the law with regard to lighting fires. Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, Andrew Doyle has reminded farmers, forest owners, forest managers and the public of the need to be alert to the risk of wildfires over the coming months. “An inherent risk of fire exists during spring months on certain types of land, particularly in upland areas and that high fire risk conditions can be expected over the coming spring and summer months, when weather conditions dictate,” stated the minister. Recalling the major wildfires in recent years that destroyed or damaged property, including farmland and forests, he added, “Such fires directly endanger people’s homes and property and destroy valuable habitats and tourism resources. Furthermore, they place enormous strain on the emergency services and put the lives of rural dwellers and …

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High risk of wildfires

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Tom Hayes has today reminded forest owners and managers, farmers and members of the public of the need to be alert to the risk of wildfires over the coming weeks. “In recent years we have experienced a number of major wildfires that destroyed or damaged property, including farmland and forests. These events endanger people’s homes, place enormous strain on the resources of the emergency services and put the lives of rural dwellers and emergency service personnel at considerable risk,” he said. The minister noted that following dry weather patterns, a wildfire risk can quickly develop in all areas where flammable vegetation such as grasses, gorse and heather are present, especially in proximity to forests and other assets. He has asked land owners, rural dwellers and other land users to maintain a high degree of vigilance regarding fire over the coming months. Suspicious activity should be reported to the gardaí and uncontrolled or …

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Assessing your forestry value

The IFA’s new Forest Assessor service is to be outlined to farmers from the Mid-West at a special demonstration in Templeglantine next Tuesday night. Forest Assessor is a new service offered by IFA that independently analyses forests so that farmers know the value of their forest before going to the market. IFA Farm Forestry chairman, Michael Fleming said, “Forest Assessor uses the most up-to-date technology to measure plots within the forest and then produces a report for farmers showing expected harvest volumes. The report provides a detailed breakdown of timber products as well as the potential value of the timber, based on the latest timber market report. “Knowing the value of your timber before you harvest gives you more power when negotiating with potential buyers”, said Mr. Fleming. “The more knowledge you have on your forest, the more opportunity there is to capture value and maximise your return while protecting the long-term productivity of the forest”. A local farmer who …

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Biofuel the route to more jobs

CONVERTING by-products to biofuel, particularly residues from agriculture, forestry and food processing, can deliver a significant jobs boost, but only if the right policies are put in place now, according to An Taisce. James Nix, policy director of An Taisce notes that “the better use of by-products could create up to 300,000 jobs across the EU and supply some 16% of road transport demand – but only if this sector is maximised,” he said in commenting on a new report,  Wasted: Europe’s untapped resource. The report, backed by a range of industries and environment organisations, found that provided the right safeguards are put in place significant volumes of wastes and residues could be converted to biofuels without creating sustainability problems. Key by-products highlighted by the study include residues from timber-processing as well as residues from harvesting certain food crops. The report draws particular attention to the recovery of increased volumes of used cooking oil, something it pinpoints as having the potential …

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