Afforestation program a solution for unemployment?

retep

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Been thinking the last few weeks of the best investment the government could make of dipping into the pension reserve fund in a bid to create high intensive employment with a guaranteed return on investment.

Just wondering what people think of a mass forestation program (I mean really large scale with a proposal to employ up to 50,000+ people) utilising people with expertise in the construction industry with a capability of working machinery plus the physical capability for manual labour that planting a vast amount of trees would require.

Obviously a combination of native hardwoods and cash crop conifers would be the ideal. Equally it is to be assumed that additional employment for construction professionals would be created in land surveying and the drainage and forestry road construction works that would be required to bring such a project to fruition on a massive scale. It would be hoped that in the wake of the forestation program that related enterprises would follow from an expansion of the wooden house industry, a increased utilisation of the rail network for forestry related freight and to the export of the type of wood fencing that we saw the company in Latvia featured on the news last week exporting to Ireland.

In terms of where such forestry should be planted, I would imagine mountain commonage and exhausted boglands are the obvious areas, as well as some form of partnership incentive for the agricultural community who give a proportion of otherwise unproductive land over for forestation (Not the Dorothy Flynns of the world I might add!!)

Apparently this is a practice the New Zealand government has used for years in terms of investing state pension funds with a guaranteed payback in 10-30 years. Equally many of the Native American Reservations have found this to be a much more ethical and effective cash crop than hosting Casinos on their reservations.

I imagine it is the sort of a project one would expect the Greens (Of which I am not one) in particular to embrace. Be interested to hear what people think and any possible cons of such a proposal?
 


Gemlarkin

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How many man hours to plant a hectare?

How many man hours to plant a hectare?

How many years to get a crop of hardwoods?

How much agriculture production would you displace?
 

Superindigoman

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Mugsy23, i had to laugh at your comment or i would of cried, your so right, you've summed it all up

seems a rational well though out plan so it will never work in this country
 

MauriceColgan

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retep, it's a great idea. A cousin of mine planted acres of hardwood trees half way up a mountain in Roscommon and they have already passed the thinning stage. The timber will be very valuable in a few years. They have transformed very poor grazing land into a site for sore eyes. Beautiful Irish oaks and alder etc.
Our climate ensures rapid growth.
Investment in furniture factories and training of wood machinists would be most welcome. The waste wood a fine source of fuel.

We have huge areas of under utilised land.

I did some wood machining in a table manufacturing company way back in 1962.
 

MauriceColgan

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Are you going to fund it?
Irish people are building homes in Africa and elsewhere after raising funds here in Ireland. If we can do it for them......................

Irish people raise huge sums of cash for community and sports centres.

Co-ops in Kerry were a huge success.

Where there is a will there is a way... and er... relatives!
 

Goban Saor

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Irish people are building homes in Africa and elsewhere after raising funds here in Ireland. If we can do it for them......................

Irish people raise huge sums of cash for community and sports centres.

Co-ops in Kerry were a huge success.

Where there is a will there is a way... and er... relatives!
If you want a privately funded stimulus package then it has my blessing.
 

MauriceColgan

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There are probably thousands of Sycamore tree seeds in our garden. Anyone have a spare acre without planning permission but needing developement?

I bought a small 12 inch high canary island palm tree in a garden centre for 7 punts maybe 15 years ago. It is now 15 foot high and would cost hundreds of euros to replace.

Communities and schools should be encouraged to invest in tree plantations wherever possible.

Large scale plantations would be something land owners and farmers should be seriously considering. I believe saplings in bulk are relatively inexpensive.
 

FreshStart

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Been thinking the last few weeks of the best investment the government could make of dipping into the pension reserve fund in a bid to create high intensive employment with a guaranteed return on investment.

Just wondering what people think of a mass forestation program (I mean really large scale with a proposal to employ up to 50,000+ people) utilising people with expertise in the construction industry with a capability of working machinery plus the physical capability for manual labour that planting a vast amount of trees would require.

Obviously a combination of native hardwoods and cash crop conifers would be the ideal. Equally it is to be assumed that additional employment for construction professionals would be created in land surveying and the drainage and forestry road construction works that would be required to bring such a project to fruition on a massive scale. It would be hoped that in the wake of the forestation program that related enterprises would follow from an expansion of the wooden house industry, a increased utilisation of the rail network for forestry related freight and to the export of the type of wood fencing that we saw the company in Latvia featured on the news last week exporting to Ireland.

In terms of where such forestry should be planted, I would imagine mountain commonage and exhausted boglands are the obvious areas, as well as some form of partnership incentive for the agricultural community who give a proportion of otherwise unproductive land over for forestation (Not the Dorothy Flynns of the world I might add!!)

Apparently this is a practice the New Zealand government has used for years in terms of investing state pension funds with a guaranteed payback in 10-30 years. Equally many of the Native American Reservations have found this to be a much more ethical and effective cash crop than hosting Casinos on their reservations.

I imagine it is the sort of a project one would expect the Greens (Of which I am not one) in particular to embrace. Be interested to hear what people think and any possible cons of such a proposal?
Actually, I think this is a great idea. It's offers longevity and is incredibly sustainable. I heard somewhere recently that Ireland imports all its wood. We could become exporters. There is a demand for wood everywhere.

Keep pushing it. I think you're onto something here.
 

An Gilladaker

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Been thinking the last few weeks of the best investment the government could make of dipping into the pension reserve fund in a bid to create high intensive employment with a guaranteed return on investment.

Just wondering what people think of a mass forestation program (I mean really large scale with a proposal to employ up to 50,000+ people) utilising people with expertise in the construction industry with a capability of working machinery plus the physical capability for manual labour that planting a vast amount of trees would require.

Obviously a combination of native hardwoods and cash crop conifers would be the ideal. Equally it is to be assumed that additional employment for construction professionals would be created in land surveying and the drainage and forestry road construction works that would be required to bring such a project to fruition on a massive scale. It would be hoped that in the wake of the forestation program that related enterprises would follow from an expansion of the wooden house industry, a increased utilisation of the rail network for forestry related freight and to the export of the type of wood fencing that we saw the company in Latvia featured on the news last week exporting to Ireland.

In terms of where such forestry should be planted, I would imagine mountain commonage and exhausted boglands are the obvious areas, as well as some form of partnership incentive for the agricultural community who give a proportion of otherwise unproductive land over for forestation (Not the Dorothy Flynns of the world I might add!!)

Apparently this is a practice the New Zealand government has used for years in terms of investing state pension funds with a guaranteed payback in 10-30 years. Equally many of the Native American Reservations have found this to be a much more ethical and effective cash crop than hosting Casinos on their reservations.

I imagine it is the sort of a project one would expect the Greens (Of which I am not one) in particular to embrace. Be interested to hear what people think and any possible cons of such a proposal?
Are farmers and landowners not getting enough handouts already let them plant trees and wait 35 years to get paid
 

MauriceColgan

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Are farmers and landowners not getting enough handouts already let them plant trees and wait 35 years to get paid
Some are already doing that.

There was a story some years ago on TV of a brother and sister inheriting a farm where their father had planted hardwood trees on some rocky ground unsuitable for other uses. The trees turned out to be worth hundreds of thousands of Euros.

Self interest and National interest often go together. The sold-out concert to be held at Slane castle an example.

There's a huge wood processing plant in Carrick -on- Shannon providing a lot of employment. Wood-frame houses are becoming very popular.
 

An Gilladaker

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Some are already doing that.

There was a story some years ago on TV of a brother and sister inheriting a farm where their father had planted hardwood trees on some rocky ground unsuitable for other uses. The trees turned out to be worth hundreds of thousands of Euros.

Self interest and National interest often go together. The sold-out concert to be held at Slane castle an example.

There's a huge wood processing plant in Carrick -on- Shannon providing a lot of employment. Wood-frame houses are becoming very popular.
Self interest is involved so
 

Nonsence & lies

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Driving between ennis-shannon-limerick recently other than a couple of small forests, their was very little going on by way of crops or animals grazing. I guess a lot of the landowners were probably working in the various industries down there and collecting eu grants for doing nothing. Thousands of acres doing zilch
 

MauriceColgan

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Driving between ennis-shannon-limerick recently other than a couple of small forests, their was very little going on by way of crops or animals grazing. I guess a lot of the landowners were probably working in the various industries down there and collecting eu grants for doing nothing. Thousands of acres doing zilch
Yes that is not unusual in the rest of the country too. We know trees will grow in the wildest of places. Some of our national parks should be utilised for native Irish trees, like the yew, ash, and oak etc.
The faster growing variety would mean far more people would be employed in the carpentry industries.

We have huge potential for forestry.
 

retep

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Are you going to fund it?
I was thinking in the context of all the talk about capital project spending and a preference towards projects that would create the most employment and have the best cost benefit analysis and it seems to me that something as logical as this has the potential to have a much better potential payback and create as much if not more direct employment than say something like Metro North. Also just wondering where the National Pension Reserve fund is currently invested/held and whether a considerable proportion of it would be best invested in something like this for both the economic and environmental benefit of future generations. Also it has the added benefit that, run properly, something like this under the direct auspices of and operated directly by the state, would be less likely to line the pockets of corporations and vested interest prominent individuals than to benefit a far greater number of the currently unemployed to a lesser degree. Of course one would need Coillte to ramp up a gear big time in the provision of seedlings for such a project within expanded or new State run tree nurseries.

In terms of the issue of opportunity cost of land currently used for agriculture, I would say it would still be used for agriculture/horticulture, albeit of a different sort and also I imagine there is a huge amount currently in set aside or in use much less productivly as marginal stock rearing grazing. Also I imagine there are huge tracts of state lands currently underutilized and even to take it to the extreme, I would advocate planting shelter belts along side all rural stretches of National Primary and Secondary Roads in places where none currently exist. Much better to pump these funds into tree planting than the supposed arts sculptures adorning every bypass and new stretch of road in the country under some silly art percentage law in capital spending which, whilst again I could see as having benefitted some lucky commissioned individual artists, I could never see the domino/tumble down effect that such commissions had on the arts in general.

Places that I could always see as benefitting majorly from vast afforestation and have the added benefit of road frontage and easy accessibility include The Curragh Line on the Galway Headford Road, The Curraun Peninsula from Mulranney to Achill in Mayo, The Road from Bellacorrick to Belmullet in Mayo, The road from Killorglin to Castleisland in Kerry, Literally the entire rural area of Roscommon! Indeed the prospect of a vast inland forest straddling the Shannon in 40 years time would make for a huge national wealth of home produced timber for construction and fuel but also a considerably attractive tourism attraction. I imagine it would also serve to lessen the agricultural run off and sedimentation that currenly plagues the Shannon Basin and causes such flooding problems this time of year for communities straddling the Shannon and its tributaries.
 

picador

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Watched a program on Scottish landscape the other night on BBC. Apparently Britain nearly succombed to the German U-boat bloockade in WW1 die to lack of wood. The Forestry Commission was set up and spent the next twenty years planting trees up mountains. The tree that worked best in Scotland was spruce from the Pacific North-West (similar climates). Unfortunately it was planted in lines, which made the resulting forest dark and lifeless.

Allow room for light to penetrate. Don't plant in lines. Good luck!
 


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