Illegal woodcutters threaten habitat

By Geoff Vivian

ROGUE firewood vendors are suspected of illegally felling 30 healthy jarrah trees around Denmark.

Parks and Wildlife Service district manager Cameron Shaw said he had increased ranger patrols and surveillance and urged people to report suspicious activity.

“Some of the trees were up to 30m tall,” he said.

“The trees that were cut down provided valuable habitat for the Baudin’s cockatoo, a threatened species.”

“The cockatoo relies on standing trees for food and shelter, and they need old tree hollows to breed.”

Mr Shaw said apart from specially designated areas, there were other ways to collect firewood legally.

These included applying for a Commercial Producer’s Licence if the wood was being sourced from private property, or buying firewood from suppliers who had contracts with the Forest Products Commission.

Mr Shaw said the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) remained committed to preventing the collection and sale of illegal firewood in the local area.

“National parks and nature reserves are there for everyone to enjoy, and to ensure this continues, the collection of wood, of any kind, from these areas is prohibited,” he said.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity relating to firewood collection are encouraged to contact DBCA’s Parks and Wildlife Service on 9840 0400.

Information about public firewood areas and how to obtain a Commercial Producer’s License is available from the department’s website at dbca.wa.gov.au