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Illegal wood gathering in reserves


As the winter season approaches the Parks and Wildlife Service is advising people to buy firewood from reputable vendors to help look after the environment.

Parks and Wildlife Service Southern Region operations manager Shane Breen said that the scale of illegal wood cutting in conservation reserves is large and increasing.

“Last year Parks staff received more complaints from the public about illegal wood cutting than in the previous five years and this trend is continuing,” Mr Breen said.

“The combined activities of illegal wood cutting and removal and rubbish dumping are the biggest threats to the biodiversity of conservation reserves in south-eastern Tasmania.

“We estimate that hundreds of tonnes of wood are being taken unlawfully from reserved land each year. While some people are cutting from private land with permission, many are not.”

“The impact from this activity is the destruction of native habitats – standing and fallen trees are removed, all of which provide habitat for a range of fauna.”

Mr Breen said people should also be aware that they risk hefty fines and confiscation of chainsaws and wood collected if they are apprehended cutting wood illegally in reserves.

Three recent successful prosecutions for various offences in the Conningham Nature Recreation Area south of Hobart resulted in fines of $750 plus costs each, for the three offenders. The offenders’ chainsaws were confiscated when they were apprehended and the chainsaws were held until the legal proceedings were completed.

People observing what they believe to be illegal wood cutting or rubbish dumping on reserved lands should contact Parks and Wildlife Service offices at Seven Mile Beach 6214 8100, Glenorchy, 6233 8532 or Huonville 6264 8460.

Illegal wood gathering in reserves

Stumps of trees cut illegally in a south-east reserve.