Firewood collection is often a family recreation activity that people think is assists in reducing fire hazards; But it is important to be aware that removing firewood has major environmental impacts that affect the functioning of woodland ecosystems which is why it is a prohibited activity on Council owned/managed lands.
Leave dead and fallen trees alone
People often target dead and fallen trees when collecting fuel for wood heaters, as they are dry and can be burnt immediately. However, dead trees – especially those that contain hollows, are vital in providing perching roosts and places for animals to nest, including a number of threatened species such as the Squirrel Glider which is found in the Albury region. Fallen timber is an essential home for native animals; it also plays an essential role in forest and woodland nutrient cycles.
Firewood collection on public land
Collecting firewood isn’t just ‘cleaning up’ the bush – it has serious ecological consequences. Because of this, we do not allow collection of firewood on Council land owned/managed land (roadsides, bushlands, parks and reserves).
Vegetation within roadside corridors and reserves, including dead or fallen timber, provide habitat for native animals such as lizards, birds, bats and smaller insects and as such, are protected. Council takes great pride in conserving the native vegetation and habitats that make up roadside reserves across the region. People found to be collecting wood or other materials or cutting down or damaging trees within a Council Roadside or reserve may be issued a fine.
If you see someone collecting firewood or other material such as plants or rocks from our roadsides and reserves please report it to:
Phone: 02 6023 8111
What information do you need to report?
- Date and time
- A description of the activity observed
- Additional information, for example if a vehicle is present: the registration, model, type and colour
Firewood collection on private land
Residents who rely on wood heaters for warmth may collect firewood on private property with permission from the landholder or purchase wood from a reputable supplier. However, clearing must not take place if the firewood is collected for any other reason as found in the Land Management Code.
It also must not take place if the vegetation is a threatened species or part of an Endangered Ecological Community (EEC), or be a habitat for a threatened species. It is important that firewood collection is sustainable and does not impact on fauna which may use hollow logs or dead wood as habitat. Animals may live in hollow logs or use fallen timber as shelter. Many insects consume dead wood, and animals are attracted to the wood to feed on the insects. Hollow logs and timber are important for our native wildlife.
A few simple changes can make firewood collection more sustainable:
- Leave any established hollow logs
- Don't remove all the wood from an area - leave some behind to remain as habitat.
- Look for smaller pieces of timber which are less likely to be used by native animals in the future
- Plant trees on your property to replace wood removed
- If you purchase wood from a supplier, ask them about the sustainability of their firewood.