Au­thor­i­ties seek tree van­dals

Shepparton News - Country News - - SEYMOUR ALTERNATIVE FARMING EXPO 2017 -

For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria is seek­ing pub­lic as­sis­tance to iden­tify the per­son re­spon­si­ble for the il­le­gal re­moval of tree burls in the Jamieson area.

‘‘Some­one has de­lib­er­ately re­moved around 100 burls from trees in the Up­per Goul­burn State For­est be­tween late De­cem­ber and early Jan­uary,’’ For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria’s Goul­burn district man­ager Lu­cas Rus­sell said.

‘‘Burls form from de­fects on trees and are prized by wood­work­ers for mak­ing fea­ture pieces such as bowls or sculp­tures,’’ Mr Rus­sell said.

‘‘Of­ten th­ese pieces are sold for hun­dreds of dol­lars.

‘‘The il­le­gal re­moval of the burls has the po­ten­tial to se­ri­ously dam­age the trees and im­pact on habi­tat for the na­tive an­i­mals.

‘‘Con­sid­er­able ef­fort has gone into the re­moval of the burls, which in some cases could have in­cluded the use of a lad­der, chain­saw and trailer.

‘‘In­for­ma­tion such as ve­hi­cle make, model, colour or a reg­is­tra­tion plate would be ex­tremely help­ful, and can be pro­vided anony­mously.’’

Mr Rus­sell said peo­ple buy­ing in­tri­cate wood­work pieces, es­pe­cially on­line or through so­cial me­dia sale groups, should en­sure the wood has come from sus­tain­able sources.

It is an of­fence un­der the Forests Act 1958 to dam­age any tree or plant or be in pos­ses­sion of any for­est pro­duce with­out hav­ing been au­tho­rised to re­move it.

Those found guilty of such of­fences could face a max­i­mum fine of $7773 or 12 months’ im­pris­on­ment. ■ Any­one with in­for­ma­tion can phone the DELWP Mans­field of­fice on 5773 1200 or the DELWP Cus­tomer Ser­vice Cen­tre on 136 186. De­lib­er­ate dam­age . . . One of the dam­aged trees in

As na­ture in­tended . . . A tree with burls in­tact.

the Jamieson district.

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