Hilltops Council has asked residents of Young to stop collecting firewood from roadsides and reserves this winter.
Council’s General Manager, Anthony McMahon said roadside wood collecting has been a problem in past winters and he has asked residents to collect wood responsibly and consider the environment or face potential fines.
“We hope that by raising awareness in the community those either inadvertently or deliberately doing the wrong thing avoid potential fines,” he said.
"Council’s roadsides and reserves are often the last refuge of intact remnant woodlands and are of high conservation status so by conserving these small areas of existing vegetation, Council hopes to maintain viable habitat corridors for native fauna and maintain and enhance the richness of flora and fauna in our environment.
"Firewood on public land can only be collected and removed under a permit from the relevant agency such as the RMS, NSW State Forestry, or Local Land Services.”
Registered firewood supplier Glen Powell said it is safer for people to purchase firewood from a recognised dealer.
"Collecting wood from a roadside causes all types of traffic concerns and road safety issues," he said.
"Affordability wise I can understand why people would do it, but it comes down to how efficient people are with using their firewood if that is a concern."
Mr McMahon said Council does not permit roadside collecting of firewood.
“Due to Council’s role in managing and protecting the roadside environment, along with safety issues, Council does not permit the felling of trees or the collection of firewood, including fallen timber, from Council’s roadsides or reserves,” he said
Council can issue significant fines to anyone caught collecting wood from the side of the road.Anthony McMahon
“It is important for the community to understand the importance of not ‘tidying up’ the roadside by removing debris or fallen timber for firewood. Natural features such as logs, leaf litter, fallen timber and rocks left on the ground provide important habitat for our native fauna and cutting down a tree may result in prosecution."