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Further U-turn on forest sell-off?

There are many battles still to be won to protect our forest heritage and public pressure remains crucial

Source:  Copyright 2012, Guardian
Date:  March 6, 2012
Original URL: Status ONLINE

When I challenged the government in January over its incoherent plans for the forestry estate, I was dismissed as "hysterical" by the Defra minister for forests, Jim Paice.

A little discourteous, to say the least. But far more worrying was the fact that the minister, in answering my question, then appeared to try to conceal the government's original intentions on the hugely controversial forest sell-off.

Let me place two statements on selling public forests by the honorable member in front of you, and you can be the judge.

The first is from 24 November 2010:

"Part of our policy is clearly established: we wish to proceed with, to correctly use your word, very substantial disposal of public forest estate, which could go to the extent of all of it."

The second is from 19 January 2012:

"In fact, there never was any intention to dispose of the whole public forest estate."

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