Devastating bushfires have resulted in a series of trees crashing down onto busy highways.
Crews from the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service have been working tirelessly to remove the branches and logs that have caused several road blockages.
On Tuesday crews were seen using chainsaws to remove a tree that had fallen down in Alpine Way, in Kosciuszko National Park in the state’s Snowy Mountains.
But an environmental scientist is calling for the trees to remain as they can be used as shelter for struggling wildlife.
Crews from the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service shared a photo removing a tree that feel across Alpine Way, in Kosciuszko National Park
After NSW NPWS shared the photo to Facebook, one person suggested residents in the area be able to use the wood for their own use.
‘Now I believe this is where the public should be allowed to enter and take the timber that is left on the side of the trails…. Obviously no cutting down trees but collecting fallen timber for fire wood etc at home would help to reduce the fuel loads around national parks,’ one man said.
Tracy Chapman, an environmental scientist from Glenreagh in north-eastern NSW said the idea to take the wood or use it as mulch was ‘plain ridiculous’.
‘I would never advocate rashly going in and taking [wood] out,’ Ms Chapman told Yahoo News Australia.
‘We miss something so simple with the importance of habitat. We’ve got this massive issue at the moment with these hollows, and it’s not imbedded in a policy that we should be considering these as valuable resources rather than mulching them.’
Fallen trees cover the Monaro Highway north of Cann River in Victoria in the wake of bushfires
Ms Chapman said the crews should be working to chop up the trees into smaller, hollow pieces to be placed in the bush for wildlife to find shelter in.
She said they would otherwise be ‘sitting ducks’ for prey like foxes.
‘It’s pretty dire, if you don’t give shelter… they won’t be able to start breeding again and they won’t survive,’ she said.
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment said that part of the trees would be used as mulch but a larger proportion would be left for wildlife.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for further comment.
The bushfire crisis has taken the lives of 33 people and destroyed more than ten million hectares of land.
Environmental scientists say the branches should be chopped up into smaller pieces for wildlife to find shelter in (pictured: tree across Monaro Highway in Cann River VIC)
2019/2020 FIRE SEASON DEATH TOLL
The national death toll in Australia’s 2019/2020 bushfire season was 33 as of Monday, January 27, with 25 confirmed deaths in New South Wales, three in South Australia and five in Victoria.
New South Wales:
Robert Lindsey, 77, and Gwen Hyde, 68, were found in their burned out Coongbar home near Casino on October 9th.
New South Wales:
The body of 85-year-old George Nole was found in a burnt out car near his home in Wytaliba, near Glen Innes.
Vivian Chaplain, a 69-year-old woman from Wytaliba, succumbed to her injuries in hospital after attempting in vain to save her home and animals from the blaze.
The body of 63-year-old Julie Fletcher was pulled from a scorched building in Johns River, north of Taree.
Barry Parsons, 58, was found in a shed at Willawarrin, near Kempsey.
Chris Savva, 64, died after his 4WD overturned near burnt-out South Arm bridge, near Nambucca Heads.
A 59-year-old man was founded sheltered in a Yarrowitch water tank on November 7. He died of injuries on December 29.
David Moresi, 69, died after being involved in a traffic incident while working at the at the Gelantipy fire in East Gippsland on November 30.
New South Wales:
Firefighters Andrew O’Dwyer, 36, and Geoffrey Keaton, 32, died on December 19 after a tree fell on their truck while they were travelling through Buxton, south of Sydney.
Samuel McPaul, 28, was battling a blaze in Jingellic, in Green Valley, about 70km east of Albury on the border of NSW and Victoria, on December 30 when a ‘fire tornado’ caused his 10-tonne firetruck to roll.
The body of 69-year-old Ron Selth was found in his Charleston home, which was destroyed by the Cudlee Creek blaze on December 21.
NEW YEAR’S EVE FIRES
New South Wales:
Dairy farmer Patrick Salway, 29, and his father Robert, 63, died trying to save their property in Cobargo, near Bega, on December 31.
A 70-year-old man, named by local media as Laurie Andrew, was found dead outside a home at Yatte Yattah, west of Lake Conjola.
The body of a 70-year-old man was found in a burnt vehicle on a road off the Princes Highway at Yatte Yattah on the morning of New Year’s Day.
The body of a 62-year-old man was found in a vehicle on Wandra Road at Sussex Inlet about 11.30am on New Year’s Day.
A body, believed to be a 56-year-old man, found outside a home at Coolagolite, east of Cobargo on New Year’s Day.
An off-duty RFS firefighter, believed to be 72-year-old Colin Burns, was found near a car in Belowra after the New Year’s Eve fires swept through.
Beloved great-grandfather Mick Roberts, 67, from Buchan, in East Gippsland, was found dead at his home on the morning of New Year’s Day.
Fred Becker, 75, was the second person to die in Victoria. He suffered a heart attack while trying to defend his Maramingo Creek home.
New South Wales:
David Harrison, a 47-year-old man from Canberra, suffered a heart attack defending his friend’s home near Batlow on Saturday, January 4.
A 71-year-old man was found on January 6. Police have been told the man was last sighted on December 31, 2019 and was moving equipment on his property in Nerrigundah.
An 84-year-old man who stayed to defend his home in Cobargo, NSW, dies in hospital three weeks after fire hit. His pet dog Bella, who stayed by his side as fires raged, was also killed in the disaster.
Three American firefighters are killed when Coulson Aviation C-130 Hercules water bomber Zeus crashed while fighting fires near Cooma on Thursday January 23. They have been named as Capt. Ian H. McBeth, 44, First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson and Flight Engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr, 43.
On January 24, Michael Clark, 59, was found in a Bodalla home destroyed by bushfires near the NSW South Coast town of Moruya.
Forest Fire Management firefighter Mat Kavanagh, 43, was killed Friday January 3 when he was involved in a two-car crash on the Goulburn Valley Highway.
Bill Slade, a 60-year-old father of two from Wonthaggi was fighting fires with Parks Victoria at Omeo when he died on January 11. He has been remembered as one of the longest serving, most experienced and fittest firefighters.
Well-known outback pilot Dick Lang, 78, and his 43-year-old son, Adelaide surgeon Clayton Lang, died in the Kangaroo Island bushfire after their car was trapped by flames.
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