National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is investigating, after 70 native trees were poisoned at Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area.
Ranger Andrew Hampstead said the discovery was made at Nords Wharf on the foreshore and was being treated very seriously.
“This is a concerning find and we’re working hard to get more information,” he said. “The area is an endangered ecological community, and these trees provided important habitat for local fauna.
“This space exists to protect our natural environment for the future, so to see that someone would go to such lengths to purposely destroy that same environment is disappointing to say the least.
“The majority of people do the right thing when visiting this area. If you did see something, or have any information on this matter, please do come forward so we can make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Poisoning native vegetation is a crime under the National Parks and Wildlife Act and carries significant fines and up to six months imprisonment.
Previously, trees at Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area have also been cut down by illegal campers and used for firewood.
NPWS has been working with local residents to improve education around the importance of these trees and the impacts of illegal vehicle access in national parks and reserves.
Anyone with information on this matter can contact the Central Coast Area Office on: 4972 9000.