Longford Leader Farming: Excessive regulation biggest barrier to forestry, says IFA


Forestry regulatory framework is the biggest barrier to development at farm level, says IFA's Vincent Nally

IFA farm forestry chairperson, Vincent Nally, has said the forestry regulatory framework, including the replanting obligation and licensing system, is the biggest barrier to forestry and is stifling forestry development at farm level.

“It’s time the Government started to listen to farmers, reformed the system and created a regulatory framework that supports planting and management at farm level,” he said.

IFA has surveyed other private forest owner organisations across the EU which showed that Ireland’s felling regulatory framework is the most rigorous of any country surveyed.

“None of the countries required private forest owners to apply for a felling licence. Most had a permit system that guaranteed a felling permit within a set timeframe. Others such as France required forest owners to submit a sustainable management plan that reflected the size of the forest,” he said.

He added that private forest owners were not required to submit a Natura Impact Statement noting “It is evident that private forest owners elsewhere in Europe have a proportionate regulatory burden. The requirements reflect the size of the forest and the type of operation, and is more about supporting private forest owners to manage their forests,” he said.

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