Government announces study as protest to take place over'misguided' forestry policy in Leitrim
A major protest against the Government's forestry policy will be held outside the Dáil today.
Billed as the 'Communities not Conifers' protest, the action is being spearheaded by the Save Leitrim campaign and is also supported by groups in Roscommon and Cavan.
It comes as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle announced that he has commissioned an independent study on the forestry sector in Co. Leitrim.
The study is in response to calls for a review of the effects of publicly-funded afforestation in the County. The study will be led by Dr. Áine Ní Dhubháin, senior lecturer in Agriculture and Forestry in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.
The exact Terms of Reference for the Study will be finalised shortly and the report will be concluded by late-summer this year.
The protest, will highlight what activists claim is the Government's misguided focus on the growing of monoculture conifer plantations.
Activists want the Government to encourage the planting of more native hardwoods and move away from a reliance on Sitka spruce.
They also contend that the concentration of planting in the northwest has been detrimental to local communities.