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Forestry Sector

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 29 February 2012

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Questions (162)

Catherine Murphy


165 Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine in the event of the sale of the forestry assets of Coillte, the steps he will take to ensure that the open forestry policy of Coillte, which facilitates recreational use of these forests, will continue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11795/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine)

As announced by the Government last week, consideration will be given to the sale of some assets of Coillte, excluding the sale of land, when market conditions are favourable and at an acceptable price to Government. A valuation of Coillte assets is currently being undertaken by the NTMA (NewERA unit) in conjunction with my Department and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. No decision on the possible sale of Coillte assets will be taken until the valuation process is completed.

I am conscious that Coillte's forests provide a range of recreational opportunities for the general public continuing a long tradition of open access to state owned forests. I am aware that this is a very significant issue of concern for the general public, therefore public access to recreational land will be an important consideration in the decision-making process regarding the potential sale of such assets.