The man was convicted in the Shepparton Magistrates Court on Monday after admitting to illegally cutting and taking approximately two cubic metres of River Red Gum timber from public land in August 2021. He pleaded guilty to five charges relating to disturbing wildlife habitat, illegal firewood collection, illegal off-road driving and obstructing an Authorised Officer.
Magistrate Popovic also ordered the destruction of the seized wood and chainsaw.
Conservation Regulator Authorised Officers detected the offending during Operation Rivergum patrols
Operation Rivergum is a joint operation between the Conservation Regulator, Forest Fire Management Victoria, and Parks Victoria to address illegal firewood removal from vulnerable ecosystems along the Murray River corridor. It targets people who are removing firewood in large quantities for commercial gain and in doing so, destroying areas of wildlife habitat and native vegetation.
In Victoria, it is illegal to cut or take fallen or felled trees on public land without authorisation.
For more information about firewood regulation in Victoria, visit Collecting firewood.
Anyone with information about illegal firewood take or other environmental crime can report it to DELWP on 136 186 and can remain anonymous.
The loss of these important trees seriously impacts our native species living in the Lower Goulburn National Park, and this conviction should serve as a reminder to anyone thinking about illegally cutting and taking timber from our parks and forests that they will be caught and face consequences.
Reviewed 28 September 2022