Upcoming Events

National | Environment

no events match your query!

User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

forward

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link THE DEEPER GAME BEHIND #IRISHWATER 10:26 Fri Dec 05, 2014

offsite link Bonds, Balance Sheets and Irish Water - Limerick, Dublin and Galway, Dec 2014 10:08 Tue Dec 02, 2014

offsite link Global Finance, Money and Power - Lecture 11: Alternatives 08:55 Thu Nov 27, 2014

offsite link THE WORLD COULD SORT OUT EBOLA FOR THE PRICE OF ONE BONO 23:07 Tue Nov 18, 2014

offsite link WELL THAT?S IRISH WATER FINALLY SORTED OUT 23:04 Tue Nov 18, 2014

Dublin Opinion >>

Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

offsite link Right2Water and Podemos Thu Dec 18, 2014 20:47 | Richard

offsite link The Disillusioned Citizen Wed Dec 17, 2014 14:15 | Kathy

offsite link The Power of Paint Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:33 | Seán Sheehan

offsite link If this is a recovery why are people getting poorer? Mon Dec 15, 2014 17:36 | Michael Burke

offsite link Working Hard to Maintain the Status Quo Mon Dec 15, 2014 15:51 | Andy Storey

Irish Left Review >>

Human Rights in Ireland
www.humanrights.ie

offsite link Call for Papers: International Criminal Justice: Theory, Policy and Practice Thu Dec 18, 2014 15:19 | Anna Marie Brennan

offsite link The UN Migrant Workers Convention: How the EU Can Show that Migrants Matter Thu Dec 18, 2014 06:00 | GuestPost

offsite link 2015 International Criminal Court Summer School at the Irish Centre for Human Rights Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:24 | GuestPost

offsite link After the 8th. #repealthe8th Tue Dec 16, 2014 09:00 | Máiréad Enright

offsite link Call for Applications: FLAC Public Interest Law Fellowship Sat Dec 13, 2014 17:04 | admin

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Coillte Forestry Fables In Regard To Tree Felling At Gougane Barra Heritage Site

category national | environment | press release author Tuesday August 26, 2014 15:05author by Woodland League - The Woodland League Report this post to the editors

For Release on Friday 22nd August, 2014

Press Release - Woodland League

The public amenity forest at Gougane Barra, co Cork has been clear-felled for no good reason. This is
the claim of an internationally renowned Irish tree-scientist and a number of Irish NGOs.
In January 2014, Coillte, the Irish Forestry Board, contended that ‘sudden oak-death’ (Phytophtera
ramorum) had infested the veteran larch trees in the forest and that urgent clear-felling was essential.
Documentary evidence purporting to support this assertion dated July 2013 has been branded tenuous
at best by Diana Beresford-Kroeger the renowned Irish tree-scientist who saw no sign of the disease
while filming in the forest in August of that year.

coillte_defends_tree_felling_in_cork_state_park_aug_2014.jpg

Diana, who acts as a forestry scientific consultant to the not for profit NGO, The Woodland League,
had received background information including the laboratory documents from the League.

Diana Beresford Kroeger stated "I was in Gougane Barra last August, I did not see the presence of
the cankers of Phytophthora Ramorum, where the internal phloem and young, vigorous xylem
tissue of the trees is killed by this fungal disease. As a scientist I would like to see proof of its
presence, which is easy enough to detect before I express my horror and dismay at the destruction of
the forest at Gougane Barra. Need I add the old timers must have sold at a premium price and now
the shoulders of the mountains are bare and mangled with death and decay. It would not surprise
me if the Irish public were expected to open their purse again to restore the site".


Information from two laboratories was emailed to the Woodland League some months after their initial
urgent request for scientific evidence of the alleged outbreak of ramorum. The independence of that
evidence is questionable in that both laboratories are state-controlled. Coillte, had already felled and
sold the timber, their own laboratory being one of those who confirmed the disease, the other being the
department of Agriculture who regulate the forest sector. The two documents may be accessed here:

http://woodlandleague.org/documents/13-4890.pdf
and here:
http://woodlandleague.org/documents/PF13-030.pdf

Both contain one line statements with a reference code and no senior Plant pathology scientist
signature. This is not proof of disease in Gougane Barra.

Andrew St Ledger, the Woodland League PRO commented, "It is inconceivable that Coillte,
caretakers of the 1.2 million acre Public forest estate, the biggest single land bank are not
accountable to anybody. The self-regulatory nature of Ireland’s Forestry sector, the reliance on non
mandatory guidelines, and complete lack of Independent scrutiny creates a serious environmental
hazard and generates conflicts of interest".


Furthermore, there is no trace of a felling application for the non-larch component of the Glen (i.e.
Sitka and Lodgepole pine), which was also felled, a potential breach of the 1946 Forestry Act.
The Woodland League also allege active concealment within the Department of Agriculture and Coillte
of the extraction of the stand of Western hemlock aged 70 years old within glen Gougane Barra.
Neither Coillte nor the Forest Service did not reveal or disclose they were planning to extract other tree
species from the park. The cultural value of the ancient glen, as a place of historic significance, has
been ignored in the rush for short term profit. The trucks witnessed leaving the site with the timber had
no covering, breaching sanitisation protocols as expressed by the Forest Service and violating Coillte’s
own FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) ecolabel in relation to the FSC's 10 Principles which are used
to measure ecolabel compliance.

EIAs (Environmental Impact Assessments) are mandatory for timber extractions above 70 hectares.
The Gougane Barra clearance exceeded by far this threshold. That there was no EIA means there was
no public consultation. Thus the primary statutory stakeholders, the Irish Public, have been bypassed -
YET AGAIN.

The Woodland league are joined by two other NGO's with concerns about this serious public issue,
CELT ( Centre for Environmental Living and Training ), and MDEG ( Macroom and District
Environmental Group ) who first raised the alarm about this forest destruction occurring in their
locality.

Bob Wilson of CELT said, "The wholesale harvesting by Coillte of many fine, mature trees at this world-renowned site without
proper public consultation, without felling licences and with apparent complete disregard for natural biodiversity is very disturbing.
Excuses of possibly diseased Larch and extensive storm damage have not been adequately shown to be true or accurate.
With Ireland's extremely low area of tree cover, we cannot afford to lose such specimens in such a high-nature-value forest unless it is
absolutely proven necessary".


Ted Cook PRO of MDEG had this to add "It is ironic that the while the state are in the process of
launching a new forestry programme, hailing it as a new vision,"Forests, Products and People", the
Gougane Barra incident reinforces the same old forestry fable, a continuation of the severance of
the people from their forests, unaccountable to local communities or environmental NGO's. We note
the draft of the new plan has increased funding provision for public amenity forests and wonder will
Coillte now be compensated to restore the site with public funding".


ENDS
Please Contact for more information and quotes...
Andrew St Ledger +353-(0)87-9933157
stledgerwood@gmail.com
Ted Cook ( MDEG ) 086878989
Bob Wilson ( CELT ) 0876324644

Background articles
http://www.southernstar.ie/News/Controversy-lingers-ove...4.htm
Cork's Gougane Barra
Forest Park closing due to ... - The Irish Times www.irishtimes.com/.../cork-s-gougane-barra-forest-park-closing-due-to..
Coillte urged to clarify extent of larch disease in Gougane Barra ... www.irishtimes.com/.../coillte-urged-to-clarify-extent-of-larch-disease-in.
http://www.irishexaminer.com/farming/coillte-manager-de....html
Forest service rejects "frenzy of tree-felling" http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/forest-servi...69032
FOREST HEROINE: Tree advocate Diana Beresford-Kroeger sets reforestation sights high
http://blog.cifor.org/21558/foreforest-heroine-tree-adv...-high

Related Link: http://www.woodlandleague.org/pressreleases/Press-Relea...2.pdf
author by Spikeypublication date Wed Aug 27, 2014 13:48Report this post to the editors

If this is true it's disgraceful, these people need to be held accountable. I worked for Coilte when I was younger and from what I saw at least in my own county it's riddled with nepotism and corruption. FFS we need to be planting more oak trees not f*'king cutting them down!.

 
© 2001-2014 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy