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Minister of State Wallace presents Augustine Henry Awards to Forestry Graduates

Ms. Mary Wallace T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with responsibility for Forestry, today presented Augustine Henry Gold Medals to forestry graduates at a function held in Johnstown Castle, Wexford.

The Awards, named after Dr. Augustine Henry in view of his contribution to botany and forest science, are awarded by the Society of Irish Foresters to forestry graduates in recognition of their achievements in their respective forestry courses.

Minister of State Wallace presented the Awards to Edward Daly, Eamon Staunton and Ross Buchanan and commented that the award of the Augustine Henry Gold Medal is a fitting tribute to their efforts over a number of years at undergraduate level, and in their pursuit of excellence in their chosen career.

The Minister of State also paid tribute to the role of the agricultural universities and colleges and the contribution of the Society of Irish Foresters to the development of Irish forestry. She added, "Forestry has enormous potential in terms of environmental protection, carbon sequestration, water conservation, landscape enhancement and the proper utilization of our natural resources. However, to reach that potential, new planting is necessary on an ongoing basis". The Minister of State outlined the array of schemes currently available from her Department and concluded "I believe that there is a host of opportunities now available to landowners to support both afforestation and the management of established forests".

Minister of State Wallace also highlighted the positive signs for the future, including the current price of timber which would be of significance for those forest owners whose plantations are approaching first thinning and added "Another important return that is sometimes not fully taken into account, when looking at forestry, as a possible enterprise, is the end value of the timber crop".

Date Released: 18 April 2008