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Collecting firewood on TSRs is illegal

Central Tablelands Local Land Services has issued a warning to anyone tempted to use Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs) to collect firewood this winter.

“Our biosecurity officers are out and about patrolling on reserves and we’re on the lookout for anyone cutting up logs, or damaging or removing native vegetation,” says Senior Biosecurity Officer Kellie Arnall.

People caught carrying out illegal activity on TSRs, including harvesting timber for firewood, will face fines of up to $5,500 under the Local Land Services Act 2013.

Firewood collection includes the removal of dead timber which acts as habitat for ground dwelling species. Fallen logs also contribute to nutrient recycling and enhance groundcover which reduces soil erosion and water runoff.

TSRs are a precious community asset, prized for their grazing, social, ecological and cultural heritage values.

Local Land Services is in charge of maintaining these reserves and protecting them from timber removal and other illegal activity. TSRs are often the last remaining refuge for native species,” said Ms Arnall.

“They act as islands of natural habitat for animals as they move across the landscape.  Removing vegetation from these areas erodes habitat connectivity and reduces the shelter available for both flora and fauna.”

“Many rare plants species have survived on TSRs because these areas have been protected, allowing plants to seed and grow without the threat of clearing.”

Central Tablelands Local Land Services manages approximately 370 TSRs. While most of these reserves are signposted, if you are uncertain about the status of a roadside reserve, contact your nearest Local Land Services Office for more information.

Local Land Services uses surveillance cameras, staff inspections and information from the public to identify and take legal action against offenders.

Illegal activity can be reported to Local Land Services on 1300 795 299 or by contacting your local police station.

Information such as registration numbers, descriptions, locations and dates will assist in the issuing of fines or prosecution.

Timber can be sourced legally from State forests. Firewood permits are available online from the Forestry Corporation of NSW at: www.forestrycorporation.com.au/about/permits