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Wallace re-opens Forest Reconstitution Scheme

Ms Mary Wallace TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food with responsibility for Forestry, announced today that she has re-opened the Forest Reconstitution Scheme.

The Reconstitution Scheme provides assistance to forest-owners where plantations are damaged as a result of natural cases such as fire, frost, disease, drought and wind-blow. In such cases the Forest Service will grant aid the reconstitution of such plantations if they have been well managed and maintained up to the time of damage.

A new Scheme for the 2007-2013 period has been included in the Forestry programme submitted to the EU for approval as part of Ireland's Rural Development Plan. However, this Plan remains under negotiation in Brussels and Minister Wallace said that she was aware of a number of cases where reconstitution was now urgently required. Accordingly, the Minister said she had decided to re-open the old Reconstitution Scheme pending agreement of the new Programme in Brussels. This is possible under the particular rules applying to this Scheme.

"I am pleased to be able to re-open this scheme," Minister Wallace said today."I would urge forest owners whose plantations have suffered to apply for assistance under the current scheme and to replant."

The Minister underlined the importance of prompt action on the part of forest-owners in order to safeguard the continued payment of the annual forest premium and the long-term security of their investment. She also reminded forest owners, however, that the grant would not compensate for increment-loss or timber-loss and strongly advised owners to insure their forestry investment adequately.

12 April, 2007

Date Released: 12 April 2007