Don’t pick the wild­flow­ers

Hills Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Shire of Mun­dar­ing has warned that peo­ple who pick wild­flow­ers in State forests and re­serves can be pros­e­cuted and fined.

The warn­ing comes after an in­ci­dent was re­ported at Lake Leschenaultia which in­volved vis­i­tors pick­ing and at­tempt­ing to re­move large quan­ti­ties of wild­flow­ers from bush­land around the lake.

Lake Leschenaultia is on a Crown Re­serve in Chid­low and man­aged by the Shire.

Recre­ation and leisure ser­vices man­ager Kirk Kitchin said the in­ci­dent was re­ported to a staff mem­ber at the lake on Septem­ber 17.

“On this oc­ca­sion a per­son camp­ing at the lake wit­nessed two other vis­i­tors car­ry­ing bunches of wild­flow­ers to their car,” he said.

“The camper con­fis­cated the flow­ers and re­ported the in­ci­dent to Lake Leschenaultia staff.

“Un­for­tu­nately by this time the per­pe­tra­tors had moved on and the dam­age had al­ready been done, with a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of flow­ers up­rooted and removed from their nat­u­ral habi­tat.”

The na­tive wild­flow­ers sur­round­ing the lake are one of the site’s ma­jor draw­cards and one of the rea­sons Lake Leschenaultia is renowned for its pic­turesque bush­walk trails.

Mr Kitchin said wild­flow­ers were a pro­tected species un­der the Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Act 1950. A per­son tak­ing or sell­ing pro­tected flora with­out au­thor­ity of a li­cence could be fined up to $10,000.

“When it comes to na­tive plants, ‘look but don’t touch’ is the best ap­proach to en­sure longevity of the na­tive plants that make the lake and other sites so spe­cial,” Mr Kitchen said.

The Shire is in­ves­ti­gat­ing sig­nage to de­ter vis­i­tors from pick­ing flow­ers at the lake.

In­ci­dents of flora re­moval can be re­ported to the Shire or Depart­ment of Bio­di­ver­sity, Con­ser­va­tion and At­trac­tions.

Lake Leschenaultia’s Re­flec­tions Cafe su­per­vi­sor Amy Et­tridge and parks of­fi­cer Ri­ley Et­tridge with some of the con­fis­cated wild­flow­ers.

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