Protecting forest owners is at the heart of IFA's forestry section

The IFA farm forestry section represents the interests of farm forest owners at local, national and European level.


The committee comprises 30 private forest owners from every county in Ireland under the chairmanship of Michael Fleming.

Moreover, many of the committee members -- past and present -- are active members of the local producer-group movement in Ireland. IFA is also represented on both the FSC and PEFC forest certification initiatives in Ireland. Geraldine O'Sullivan, IFA's farm forestry officer, says that the work programme in 2013 has focused on lobbying for:

* The introduction of a reconstitution scheme for owners affected by ash dieback;

* The continuation of forestry funding;

* The reversal of the Forest Service policy on the recoupment of grants and premiums following the redigitisation of forest areas;

* The removal of restrictions on planting unenclosed land under the afforestation programme;

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* The reintroduction of afforestation quota in the hen harrier SPAs

* Amendments to the Forestry Bill, so that property rights of private forest owners are respected under the new legislation.

The Farm Forestry section provides independent, professional advice to farm forest owners on all aspects of forest management, from establishment to harvesting and selling timber.

Ms O'Sullivan says that the section will also provide representation on individual cases, if required by a member.

IFA holds an annual national farm forestry conference, publishes forestry newsletters, and organises regular, local members' meetings.

Irish Independent