Enjoying a campfire while protecting our national parks

News article |

There are many reasons as to why it is illegal to use vegetation in national parks for kindling and firewood. Animals use the vegetation for breeding, food and shelter. The breakdown of the fallen vegetation provides vital nutrients into the soils which enable vegetation re-growth to occur.

As winter is fast approaching, campfires become more prevalent in our national parks as a means for campers to stay warm.

It is important that we bring our own firewood into national parks, not just to preserve the shelter and food sources for our native wildlife, but for the regeneration of our native vegetation.

Ranger in Charge Southern Eyre Peninsula, Ms Donna Ferschl explains the important role that fallen tree branches, bark and leaves play for the future of our parks.

“Each year we continue to see people illegally removing branches, bark and twigs for firewood and kindling. We would like people to understand that even though the branches may not be alive, they still play an active role in the future of our parks,” Ms Ferschl said.

“Native animals rely on vegetation for breeding, shelter and food. In addition, the breakdown of fallen vegetation recycles nutrients back into the soil. Without these nutrients the regeneration of our native plants and trees will be inhibited.

“A balanced ecosystem is reliant on vegetation, both alive and fallen. This is why we need people to bring their own firewood, including kindling, when visiting national parks.

“We recommend that people purchase firewood from petrol stations and other retail outlets, as the collection of firewood from the roadside can bring diseases into our parks. Phytophthora (dieback) is an introduced soil fungus that if brought into our national parks would be disastrous to our native vegetation."

Firewood sourced from private property must also be collected in accordance with the Native Vegetation Act and Regulations.

Under the National Parks and Wildlife Act equipment can be seized including chainsaws, trailers and vehicles for removal of vegetation from the national parks. Financial penalties may also apply.

Should you wish to report illegal removal of vegetation in our national parks please contact Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula ph (08) 8688 3111.

For further information on vegetation management please visit https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/plants-and-animals/native-plants-and-animals/native-vegetation-management

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