Visitors urged to respect and protect our parks
Friday 5 February, 2021
Visitors to parks and reserves are urged to respect the natural environment and only obtain firewood from legal sources to prevent destruction of native habitat.
A Wangaratta man appeared in court and was fined recently after being caught cutting up fallen trees in Warby Ovens National Park by rangers and Victoria Police officers.
The Warby-Ovens National Park is important for the survival of species such as the Squirrel Glider, Feathertail Glider, Powerful Owl, Turquoise Parrot, Carpet Python and Lace Monitor.
Park rangers and Conservation Regulator officers routinely patrol public land to deter illegal activity. Concealed cameras are also temporarily placed in specific areas in parks across the state to help identify offenders.
Cutting down and removing trees from parks destroys habitat that our native plants and animals depend on for survival. It is vital to preserve dead standing trees and fallen logs as they are shelter and nesting sites for many native species. Some older trees within remnant bushland, such as scar trees, have significant aboriginal cultural heritage.
The man was prosecuted for damaging wildlife habitat, cutting fallen or felled trees, illegally running a business in a national park, and off-road driving, and was fined over $1,700 and forfeited his chainsaw.
Domestic firewood collection is only allowed in designated firewood collection areas during the firewood collection seasons. See www.ffm.vic.gov/firewood for details of when and where firewood can be collected.
Visitors who witness anyone causing damage to park habitat, removing wood or have information about environmental offences should contact Parks Victoria on 13 1963 or the Office of Conservation Regulator on 136 186.
Quotes attributable to Ron Waters, Senior Manager Enforcement and Regulatory Services
“Parks Victoria actively protects the environment within our parks to preserve the habitat our native wildlife relies on for survival. The fine handed out in court should serve as a warning to anyone else planning to illegally destroy habitat in our parks.”
Quotes attributable to Greg Chant, Conservation Regulator Manager Regulatory Operations, Hume
“Anyone breaking firewood collection rules should be aware the chances of getting caught are high, given our officers regularly patrol state forests and use surveillance cameras and other methods to detect offences.”