Central West Local Land Services have issued a reminder that hefty fines apply to anyone caught removing timber or disturbing vegetation (alive or dead) on Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs).
Fines of up to $5500 can apply to people caught carrying out illegal activities on TSRs under the Local Land Services Act 2013.
Team Leader Land Services, Peta Holcombe said Local Land Services is responsible for effectively maintaining these public assets and protecting them from illegal activities.
“TSRs are open to the public for a range of recreational activities. However, when it comes to firewood collection, TSRs are off limits,” Ms Holcombe said.
“We need to make sure there is a clear understanding in the community about the importance of the TSR network long term viability.”
TSRs not only provide a drought reserve and movement network for livestock, they are also an extremely valuable refuge for many rare and endangered native plants and animals.
Fallen logs and standing dead wood provide critical habitat for a wide range of species and need to be left in place. Decaying timber and leaf litter are also important in the process of nutrient recycling back into the soil.
“Action may be taken against anyone found removing firewood or carrying out other illegal activities such as dumping rubbish or four wheel driving,” Ms Holcombe said.
“Our staff are continuously monitoring activity on TSRs.”
The public are asked to report any illegal activity to Local Land Services on 1300 795 299, or to contact their local police station.
Taking note of registration numbers, descriptions, locations and dates also provides valuable information that can assist in the prosecution of offenders.
While firewood collection is not permitted on TSRs, members of the public can apply for a permit to collect firewood from selected state forests. Contact 1300 655 687 for details or visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au for further details.