Forests occupy almost 8% of the land area of this state with planting rates now approaching 30,000 hectares per annum. While 80% of the forest estate remains in public ownership there has been a massive increase in private ownership in recent years much of which has been poorly regulated.
Much tree planting at present is being carried out in an unbalanced fashion with too much emphasis on conifer plantation and not enough on deciduous hardwood trees which are native to Ireland. Conifer trees now comprise over 80% of planting in this state.
There needs to be proper management of forestry as blanket forestry is threatening rural communities. The level of forestry has already reached saturation point in some areas leading to depopulation.
Properly controlled forestry development can be achieved by -