Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Andrew Doyle has confirmed that Terms of Reference for the independent study on forestry in Co Leitrim have been finalised. The study will be led by Dr Áine Ní Dhubháin and Dr Julie Ballweg of UCD and the Minister has met with them to discuss their plans for the study commissioned by his Department.
The Terms of Reference are:
to assess the social impacts of forestry in County Leitrim including inter alia the attitudes to forestry of people living there. This assessment will be based on consultations locally with farmers, non farmers and other interested parties;
to assess the economic impact of forestry for County Leitrim including total employment supported by the sector;
to assess the impact of forestry on farm incomes relative to other types of farming;
to consider the non-timber outputs of forestry in County Leitrim;
to assess the current state of environmental regulation of forestry in County Leitrim.
The study will cover the entire county and will assess the attitudes of people to a wide range of forestry impacts. This assessment will be based on local consultations with farmers, non farmers, representative groups and other interested parties.
Public consultations will be a strong feature of the study and Dr Ní Dhubháin and her team will be announcing further details on these consultations in the near future, including provision for written submissions as well as local consultations. At a starting point, a dedicated website has been established where early submissions can be made – this can be found at https://leitrimforestrystudy.ucd.ie
It is expected that the final report will be published by August 2019.