Generally, removing firewood from national parks is prohibited. However, firewood collection is allowed in national parks and state forests in the Riverina. To collect firewood in these areas you must apply for a permit and have the permit with you during the collection and transportation of the firewood.
Tree-felling is prohibited and you may not collect firewood cannot be collected for sale or commercial use.
The firewood collection season is currently closed. It will reopen in April 2018 and close in September 2018.
Domestic firewood collection program
The National Parks and Wildlife Service’s (NPWS) Domestic Firewood Collection Program was established in July 2010 when a group of state forests in the Riverina became national and regional parks.
Before 2010, timber harvesting in the former state forests produced residue logs which could be collected for firewood under a permit scheme operated by the Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW). In recognition of the importance of firewood as a source of home heating for many Riverina residents, provisions to allow NPWS to authorise firewood collection on these lands were included in the river red gum legislation.
The Riverina Community Firewood and Home Heating Taskforce was established and NPWS Domestic Firewood Collection Program developed with the recommendations made by the taskforce.
Read the Riverina Community Firewood and Home Heating Taskforce report and the Minister's response (PDF 48KB).
The program recognises that there is a shortage of firewood in national and regional parks of the Riverina. It aims to improve residents’ access to available firewood whilst ensuring that firewood supplies are not exhausted. This includes increasing access to permits and roads in reserves, and making debris from thinning trials available for collection.
Firewood collection areas
Areas selected for firewood collection depend on:
- the presence of sufficient wood to allow removal while maintaining ecological processes and cultural heritage values
- adequate public access and safety
- amenity for other forest users
- other regulatory requirements.
The areas may be revised from time to time in response to changing circumstances such as flooding and depletion of coarse woody debris.
Energy efficiency and home heating alternatives
The Office of Environment and Heritage has also adopted the taskforce recommendation to encourage alternative forms of heating and to provide information about energy efficiency.
Permits to collect firewood
There are 4 different types of public lands in the Riverina with firewood collection policies.
Each area is managed by a different agency and requires a specific permit that only allows firewood collection under certain conditions.
National parks and regional parks
Firewood collection in national and regional parks is managed by the NPWS and requires a permit. The firewood collection season is currently closed.
Collection of firewood from national or regional parks:
- is permitted from April until September for one month from the date of issue of a permit
- allows for up to 3 tonnes per permit
- allows for up to 6 tonnes per household per annum
- is only available to NSW Riverina residents
- allows for river red gum firewood to be taken from designated collection areas.
Areas will be closed to collection of firewood when woody debris level reaches 45 tonnes per hectare.
Firewood collection in the Murray Valley
Enquiries to NPWS Moama office on 03 5483 9100.
Firewood collection in the Murrumbidgee Valley
Please check with NPWS Griffith office on 02 6966 8100 in relation to which area is open and the condition of the access roads.
Firewood collection in state forests:
- is permitted throughout the year
- is allowed for 10 days from the nominated start date of a permit
- allows up to 6 tonnes per household per anum
Areas may be closed when the woody debris level gets low.
To get a permit, contact the Dubbo Forestry Corporation office on 02 6841 4200.
Some firewood collection is allowed from roadsides in the Riverina.
Travelling Stock Routes
Firewood collection is generally not allowed on travelling stock reserves.