Firewood thieves spotted in Murrumbidgee Valley

A National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Police and Local Land Services surveillance operation has identified people stealing firewood from the Murrumbidgee Valley National and Regional Park and Crown lands.

Felled tree with timber removed

Investigators are making further inquiries as part of the continuing investigation.

NPWS Manager Park Operations, Robin Mares, said many people will be contacted in coming weeks about these offences.

"These operations found people carrying chainsaws, stealing firewood from the reserves, and driving off tracks which damages bushland," Robin said.

"Taking firewood from the reserves is an illegal activity. The surveillance confirmed some people had covered or switched number plates to try to avoid detection while they were in the parks.

"It's really important that householders make sure any firewood they're buying has been legally obtained, or they could also face fines for possessing illegally cut firewood. Ask the sellers to show proof that the timber has been legally cut and sold."

"Cutting down trees and taking fallen wood from national parks deprives native wildlife of crucial habitats destroying homes for native birds, mammals and reptiles."

The maximum penalty for damaging National Parks estate land is $110,000.00 or 6 months imprisonment or both and $1,100,000 for corporations.

The operation to protect the NPWS land in the Murrumbidgee Valley will continue in coming months.

Firewood may only be legitimately collected under permit by Riverina residents from the Yarradda precinct of the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Firewood collection permit applications can be obtained from Domestic firewood collection in river red gum reserves or phone: 02 6966 8100.