OWNERS of unregistered motorbikes are warned to avoid Attunga State Forest or risk copping a hefty fine.
Forestry Corporation of NSW has cracked down on rule-breakers in the local forest on the edge of Tamworth, and CCTV cameras have been a handy tool in catching culprits.
Forestry's district manager Conan Rossler said NSW Police have also visited the area "a lot" and issued multiple fines, "particularly to users of unregistered motorbikes".
The cameras have caught illegal firewood thieves, too, he said.
"We have quite a few images where there's unregistered motorbikes used so I'll be using those to issue fines in the coming weeks," Mr Rossler said.
"The level of anti-social and poor behaviour has decreased given the police have been out there which is very appreciated."
He said the main concern with the motorbikes was the environmental damage some were causing and off-road driving, which isn't allowed.
"We've put some brand new signs up now which spell out explicitly what is possible and what's not possible for what you can do," Mr Rossler said.
"These motorcycles aren't remaining on the formed tracks, and we have some 4WD vehicles which are getting onto some of our fire trails and just acting in an irresponsible manner."
He said the fire trails were in place if a bushfire were to occur, and fire crews needed to reach the depths of the forest.
"My concern is when we need to use them they might not be in a state to use them," he told the Leader.
"The soils in Attunga are highly erodible soils so ... if you get people acting irresponsibly, especially in the wet weather, they can damage the fire trails and make them unusable."
Going forward, the state body may look to restrict the use of those trails, the area manager said.
"That's not in place now but in the next coming months that may be sanctioned," he said.
Another issue he and his team have been dealing with is rubbish dumping, which has made the forest "a bit unsightly".
"At the old archery site is a lot of old wool bales, and a lot of plastic is in there which can be dispersed through the forest," Mr Rossler said.
"We're hoping to have those wool bails removed, they're very ugly and environmentally it's not good.
"But we're doing a fair clean up of the site, and we're starting to look for a contractor for that. There is a plan in process."
Gunnedah's Black Jack Forest has also undergone changes recently, but Forestry's main issue with that forest is firewood theft and illegal dumping.