Firewood collection permits open for central west’s State forests

With winter approaching, many central west residents are stocking up on firewood — State forests are a great source for firewood if you have a permit and stick to the rules.

Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Stewardship Coordinator, Melanie Klootwijk, reminded people to arrange a permit online before collecting firewood from any State forest and to only collect fallen timber.

“We have opened up some areas in the State forests in the wider Bathurst region for people to collect fallen timber to use as firewood,” Ms Klootwijk said.

“You must have a permit to collect firewood from State forests, which you can arrange online for a small fee at forestrycorporation.com.au.

“Please remember that you can only collect fallen timber – State forest permits do not allow you to cut down any standing trees, even if they are dead.

“Firewood is not always available from all areas due to environmental rules and operational considerations, so if you have collected firewood from a local forest in the past you will not necessarily be able to collect firewood from the same

location.

“Our online permit system shows where you can collect firewood this season and when you arrange a permit you’ll receive a map indicating the collection area the permit is valid for.

People visiting State forests to collect firewood should be aware of the risks and take precautions.

“The forest environment is constantly changing, so when you are collecting firewood please be aware of hazards, especially overhead hazards,” Ms Klootwijk said.

“Particular care should be taken when collecting firewood around dead trees and areas that have been burnt in the last several years. Previously burnt areas may appear safe however the risk of unstable trees and limbs can remain long after the visible effects of fire have passed.”

“For your own safety, and to avoid a hefty fine (up to $2200), please stick to the rules, make sure you pay attention to any warning notices and don’t enter closed areas.”

Permit holders are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment, including sturdy footwear and gloves. When using chainsaws, Forestry Corporation strongly recommends wearing chainsaw chaps, cut resistant trousers and eye/face protection.

There are significant penalties for removing timber from a State forest without a permit and Forestry Corporation constantly monitors State forests using surveillance cameras and patrols.

For more information, or to arrange a firewood permit, visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au

Media contact: Rod Campbell 0428 058 549