Save Leitrim has called on Minister for State Andrew Doyle to declare a moratorium on any further afforestation in Leitrim until an independent study is completed.
A halt will at least show some goodwill to communities
While the group is not fully satisfied with the study’s terms of reference, it said a halt will at least show some goodwill to communities.
Save Leitrim said it was shocked that the minister did not engage or meet with its representatives, despite a request to do so in advance of finalising the terms.
It said the terms were set out to avoid any examination of aspects of the current forestry policy it feels causes the most of the problems.
A spokesperson for Save Leitrim said: “The minister does not seem to have taken on board any of the expressed concerns of the people or communities in Leitrim in setting the terms of reference.”
The spokesperson said the terms were very limited and simplistic and would not allow the UCD team to fully investigate the concerns of both the farming and local communities.
The group also questioned the independence of the report, citing the involvement of UCD in “the education of foresters, in providing research services and supports and such close associations with the forestry industry and various corporations which are leading and championing the plantation of Leitrim”.
Save Leitrim said it had little confidence the report would provide any answers which could address the problems communities faced from forestry.
“This is a real missed opportunity and sadly displays a willingness by the minister to disregard participation by the people who the study is supposed to be helping.”
‘You don’t need a review to see there’s a problem in Leitrim’ – INHFA
Independent review launched into forestry in Leitrim