Operations target illegal firewood harvesting and off-road vehicle use
Wednesday 16 March, 2022
Parks Victoria will lead two compliance operations in Northern Victoria targeting illegal firewood theft and off-road vehicle use this autumn and winter.
Operations GOULBURN and GREENWOLF aim to reduce the destructive impact these illegal activities have on important ecological and cultural values. Increased patrols by authorised officers will run from April 1 to September in Shepparton Regional Park, Lower Goulburn National Park and Chiltern-Mount Pilot National Park.
Parks Victoria is appealing to community members to report suspected illegal firewood theft activities or suspicious behaviour by calling 136 186. Offenders can face a fine of up to $9,087 and/or a year in prison, as well as risk losing the items used to commit offences, such as chainsaws, vehicles and other associated equipment.
Illegally removing firewood destroys the trees and hollows that are habitat for birds and reptiles as well as a range of native mammals, such as possums, gliders and bats.
Parks Victoria and the Conservation Regulator conduct regular patrols in parks and forests as part of state-wide operations to address the destruction of wildlife habitat caused by illegal firewood collection in Victoria’s forests, parks and reserves.
For more information on where to collect firewood visit www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood/firewood-collection-in-your-region. Information about firewood collection rules be found at www.vic.gov.au/collecting-firewood.
Quotes attributable to Parks Victoria District Manager, Charlotte Bisset
“Parks Victoria will be launching Operation Goulburn in April this year, targeting illegal firewood collection in Shepparton Regional Park and Lower Goulburn National Park, with support from the Conservation Regulator and Victoria Police.”
“These operations are important for protecting Victoria’s environmental and cultural values. Illegal firewood collection leads to the loss of important wildlife habitat such as tree hollows and can lead to damage of cultural artifacts and sites of significance.”
“Parks Victoria is also continuing to work with the Conservation Regulator to crack down on illegal firewood theft in Shepparton, Mooroopna and across the state, including support for Operation River Gum in Northern Victoria, which aims to detect, disrupt and deter environmental harm and criminal activity associated with illegal take of firewood on public land.”