THE ACT Government is urging members of the public to report any illegal collection of firewood from reserves and other public areas.
“Our nature reserves are home to many threatened plant and animal species and are great places for Canberrans to enjoy so it is always disappointing when rangers find trees cut down,” Ranger in Charge of ACT Parks and Conservation Service Murrumbidgee River Corridor, Shelley Swain, said.
“Unfortunately every year our rangers find trees cut down in our nature reserves and on other public lands. Sadly, some people are unaware of the dangers and environmental impacts of cutting down trees or collecting fallen timber for firewood.
“Fallen trees and branches form a vital part of the ecosystem by providing animal habitats, returning nutrients to the soil and encouraging revegetation and it is therefore important that people do not remove native timber from reserves.
“The current maximum penalty for cutting native trees or removing native timber from public land is up to $7,500 for an individual or $37,500 for a corporation. Canberrans are encouraged to purchase firewood from a number of licensed vendors in the ACT.
“While we have a number of remote surveillance cameras in operation at parks and reserves across the ACT and our rangers keep an eye out for illegal activity, we really appreciate the public’s vigilance in helping us prevent future incidents.”
To report incidents of vandalism, such as the illegal collection of firewood contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.