Permits required for firewood collection in Riverina region

24 May 2004

Please note - This news release has now been archived and may contain outdated information.

With the cooler weather upon us, many people are thinking of their winter heating needs. It’s not too late to gather firewood from State forests, but State Forests of NSW is reminding people that a permit is required.

“We are happy for people with permits to collect firewood for their own personal use but we will not tolerate people either not having permits or using the permits to illegally collect wood to on-sell,” State Forests Riverina regional manager Mike Thompson said.

He said one problem with people illegally cutting and removing wood from the forests was that they are often doing so in sensitive areas, disturbing native vegetation and destroying habitats.

“Permit allocation allows us to suggest the best sites for collecting firewood in the forest and helps prevent any unnecessary damage being done to the environment,” Mr Thompson said.

“State Forests conducts regular patrols of the forests to ensure people cutting wood are appropriately licensed and are complying with their permit conditions. Those caught stealing wood or contravening their permit conditions can expect to be fined or prosecuted.

“Just this week, an illegal cutter was fined more than $21 000 in the Wentworth local court, demonstrating the significance of the offence.”

Permit holders are permitted to collect only dead wood from the forest floor. No standing timber, dead or alive, can be cut.

Firewood collection permits can be purchased from State Forests’ Riverina Regional office for just $70 for three tonnes or $35 for pensioners.

Media contact: Gary Rodda on (03) 5881 2266.