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Hayes opens IFA Farm Forestry National Conference 2013

Tom Hayes, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, today opened the IFA Farm Forestry National Conference 2013 held in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone.

 Welcoming the Conference, the topic of which was ‘The Business of Forestry’, the Minister of State commented, “Forestry is a realistic land use option for landowners and, while we continue to promote new forest planting in order to sustain and increase the supply source, we must also assist existing forest owners to manage their forest enterprise.  I believe that the availability of information will enable us to unlock the potential of our forests”.

 In his speech, Minister of State Hayes referred to the Government’s allocation of €105m in 2014 towards the continued development of forestry.  He also referred to the Forestry Bill 2013, which is now being debated in the Dáil.  The Minister of State told the conference that the purpose of the new Forestry Bill is to reform and updates the legislative framework relating to forestry, which is currently governed by legislation dating back to 1946. He added that he and his officials have had widespread consultation with all the major stakeholders in the industry on the contents of the Bill.

He congratulated the IFA Farm Forestry Section on the organisation of the National Conference and noted that the topics to be covered, which included forest certification, the valuation of timber, the current state of the market, forest taxation, harvesting and an update on Ash Dieback, were all particularly relevant and timely.

Date Released: 26 November 2013