Park firewood shortage eases
The local firewood shortage has eased with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) increasing tonnage limits and opening a new collection zone in Murray Valley National Park.
Domestic firewood collectors may now take three tonnes of firewood per permit.
Collectors were previously restricted to one tonne per permit.
Member for MurrayDarling John Williams, who made the announcement last week, said the one-tonne limit had been in place due to recent forest flooding.
‘‘This was to enable fair access for all to the wood which was accessible,’’ he said.
‘‘Conditions have dried out in the collection areas, enabling the normal three-tonne per licence limit to be reinstated.’’
Up until recently, there was only one firewood collection zone, Warri Yards, open to the public and it was reportedly running out of firewood.
Now the Quambies collection zone - via Taylor’s Bridge off the Cobb Hwy turn-off to Gulpa Forest, on Dudley’s Rd - has been opened.
‘‘About 100 hectares of the site is accessible currently with more areas still to dry out,’’ a National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) spokesperson said.
‘‘This site is north of the Warri Yards site and in an area most recently harvested.
‘‘This site has previously been unavailable while timber harvesting operations could be finalised and access to this site until now has been restricted due to flooding.
‘‘Also generally, the situation is being monitored.
‘‘We are hoping to open an area in Moira in the not too distant future. That continues to require further drying before safe access.’’
When asked why there was not a collection zone closer to Finley and other southern Riverina towns, the spokesperson said: ‘‘As previously answered, this is around suitable levels of firewood’’.
NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker also recently announced a nine hectare ‘thinning’ demonstration site in the National Park.
If all goes well, Ms Parker said a wider 396ha trial could get underway in spring.
Timber harvested from the site will be made available as firewood, however the SOUTHERN RIVERINA NEWS believes it could be about 12 months before the firewood dries out enough to burn.