Do the right thing in Tablelands NPWS properties

A recent gas bottle, solar panels and batteries theft at Gibraltar Range National Park has prompted the NPWS callout to the community to keep watch
A recent gas bottle, solar panels and batteries theft at Gibraltar Range National Park has prompted the NPWS callout to the community to keep watch

In the lead up to the busy September school holidays the local National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is urging the community to do the right thing when visiting.

NPWS Area Manager Darren Pitt said it follows a series of thefts and vandalism at some local national parks.

"We love welcoming visitors to our local national parks and there is nothing more disappointing when a small minority do the wrong thing.

"In Gibraltar Range National Park we had gas bottles, solar panels and batteries stolen while in Kwiambal National Park we have had fences being cut, surveillance cameras stolen, graffiti spraying, illegal hunting with pig dogs, rubbish dumping and the removal of timber vital to wildlife.

"Local parks are a haven for wildlife including threatened or endangered species such as koalas, squirrel gliders, and five-clawed worm skinks.

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"We're extremely disappointed at what's been happening in these beautiful parks and we're calling on the community around Glen Innes, Emmaville and Ashfield to help by reporting any illegal or suspicious activity.

"We're in touch with local police to help stop this damage in Kwiambal and Gibraltar Range, which are popular with families, campers, bird watchers and people who like to fish.

"More cameras will also be installed to detect any illegal activities, including firewood collection, hunting, rubbish dumping and vandalism. On-the-spot-fines apply, and very large fines can be handed out by the courts.

"Dead, hollow-bearing trees and woody debris provide homes for many endangered native animals. Illegally cutting down these trees and removing the fallen timber for firewood destroys critical habitat that ground-dwelling animals use to survive.

"Regular patrols by NPWS staff will be made and infringement notices will be issued if illegal activities are detected," Mr Pitt said.

People can report illegal activity to Crimestoppers 1800 333 000 or the NPWS on 1300 072 757

This story Crime in our national parks prompts an appeal to the community's conscience first appeared on The Armidale Express.