A man has been fined $750 after pleading guilty to illegally cutting timber in a central Victorian state forest.
Two Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning officers on a forest patrol discovered the 56-year-old Woodend man and another man cutting up fallen trees and loading the timber into trailers in the Cobaw State Forest in October 2016.
The forest is a designated Special Protection Zone and the cutting and removal of wood is not allowed.
“They were cutting the fallen trees into foot-long blocks which suggests they were being cut for firewood,” DELWP forest and wildlife officer Phuong Tran said.
The man were issued on-the-spot fines of $622.
One of the men disputed the fine and requested an internal review, which found there was no reason to overturn the decision of the issuing officer, so the man elected to have the issue heard before Castlemaine Magistrates Court.
In addition to the fine, the man was also ordered to pay court costs.
No conviction was recorded.
The 2018 domestic firewood collection season will run from March 1 until May 31.
For information on rules and regulations, visit the Forest Fire Management Victoria website.
DELWP asks anyone who sees suspicious behaviour in state forests, parks or reserves to call 136 186.