It’s being claimed that letters are being circulated to landowners informing them of a move to designate their lands as Special Areas of Conservation.
Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice is urging Minister Heather Humphreys to clarify the situation for land and bog owners as well as those with turf-cutting rights.
The Galway-Roscommon TD says parts of Kerry are among the areas affected.
Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice says Departmental letters outline the statutory instrument needed to proceed with turning sites into Special Areas of Conservation – sites, he said, the Government had claimed were existing SACs.
The TD says it’s “disingenuous of the department to be talking about fines from Europe” when they themselves have not, in his opinion, “done what they were supposed to do”.
He says woodland, bog and mountain land owners in Kerry may challenge this process.
The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs says most of the sites in question have been legally protected for more than 15 years.
It says statutory instruments are the final step in designating SACS and there are no new conditions being placed on landowners.
The department says affected landowners and users will be notified by post.