Letter to the editor: ‘I have a piece of advice for you…Minister Hackett’

I have read [AgriLand’s] recent interviews with Minister of State Pippa Hackett. These concern me greatly.

In particular, I find your [Minister of State Pippa Hackett’s] comment that the tradition was to pick the worst land to plant on somewhat derogatory towards many farm and forest owners in Ireland.

Also Read: Hackett interview: ‘Tradition was to pick the worst land to plant; that has to change…’

I could show you a number of forestry holdings within a 10-mile radius of your own home that would not fit into that category.

You stated that land was drained in the past – prior to planting…and, by doing so, this could emit/release more carbon than could be offset by growing trees. How could such a conclusion be reached?

Using the term ‘offset’ in this context is wrong. Growing trees store carbon; they don’t ‘offset’ it.

You commented that there is no point in opening the forestry licence floodgates without addressing the underlying issues. What are we to infer from this? Are you not taking the urgent issue of the licensing backlog seriously?

Also Read: Hackett interview: ‘No point opening (forestry licence) floodgates without addressing issues’

There are forestry licence applications sitting with your department that are now awaiting a decision for an unreasonable length of time.

It’s my understanding that, in accordance with the Forestry Act, it should take no more than 120 days to process such an application. Is this being adhered to? My own experience suggests otherwise.

You also referred to the Forestry Appeals Commission and the wider appeals process. The irony is that the Forestry Appeals Commission has morphed into a de facto licensing authority [given the number of applications that are actually appealed].

From Padraig Egan, Co. Roscommon