Source your firewood sustainably
Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula is urging the community to carefully consider the source of their firewood to minimise negative impacts on the environment.
During autumn many prepare for the cold, wet and windy days ahead by collecting wood for their winter fires.
Wood removed from roadsides and bush land has the potential to spread diseases that affect plant life and have a negative impact on wildlife including birds, lizards and small mammals.
Natural Resources Acting District Manager, Seb Drewer says that obtaining firewood from a woodlot plantation, or sourcing it from landholder who has collected fallen timber from production paddocks, is preferred.
“Fallen timber provides a number of species including echidnas, bats, dunnarts, pygmy possums, geckoes, dragon lizards and birds with a home and food source,” Mr Drewer said.
“Wood collection on road sides and in reserves may also spread a range of diseases such as Phytopthora (dieback), an introduced soil fungus that attacks roots and kills native plants.”
Fallen timber in natural areas, roadsides and national parks needs to remain in situ to allow logs to rot down over 50 to 100 years.
This ensures nutrients return to the soil supporting new plant growth, and food and shelter for wildlife.
“Wildlife use the nooks, crannies and hollows that dead timber creates for protection from introduced predators,” Mr Drewer said.
“Dead timber also attracts a large variety of insects which provide a food source.”
Senior Compliance Officer David Wilkins says that sourcing wood from national parks is unsustainable and illegal.
“We urge people to do the right thing by leaving wood for wildlife and reporting illegal wood cutting in national parks,” Mr Wilkins said.
Under the National Parks and Wildlife Act equipment can be seized including chainsaws, trailers and vehicles.
Firewood sourced from private property must be collected in accordance with the Native Vegetation Act and Regulations.
Anyone who wishes to report illegal wood cutting in national parks can contact the Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula Duty Ranger on 08 8688 3223.
For more information please contact the Natural Resources Centre in Port Lincoln on 08 8688 3111.