A NSW Government website

Environmental management

We are responsible for management of natural assets on Crown land in NSW. These include areas of high ecological value, cultural and historical heritage, recreational value, and areas with high aesthetic and scenic values.

Environmental management of Crown land includes weed and pest control, revegetation projects, cleaning up illegal dumping, waterway management, managing recreational access, and sediment and erosion control.

We protect and manage our environment across NSW by working with a range of agencies and stakeholders, and support Crown land managers to fulfil their natural asset management requirements through the Public Reserves Management Fund. We have also developed information for approved uses of Crown land in Guides and fact sheets.

To help protect the land against illegal activity that threatens its environmental values, we focus on 4 key principles:

  1. education and awareness
  2. monitoring
  3. auditing
  4. compliance investigations

We also take a whole-of-government approach to emergency management including bushfires and floods.

How we are managing and improving our natural assets

Improving and conserving natural resources including water and foreshores, soil, flora, fauna and scenic quality is our top priority.

We support on the groundwork of natural asset management and work in partnership with a range of agencies, including the Office of Environment and Heritage, to make sure that natural resource management is managed across public land in NSW, and regulations and policies are met.

To make sure you have all the information you need, visit Guides and fact sheets.

How we are managing contaminated land

Contamination of Crown land can be an issue across the state. We’ve developed a Contaminated Land Management Strategy (PDF, 1.3 MB) and program to address the risks to human health and the environment.

We maintain a register of known and potentially contaminated sites and undertake a risk assessment of the sites. We work with a range of public land managers to ensure consistency and to share knowledge.

We also manage high risk site remediation and coordinate reports to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) when required. View the EPA public register for contaminated land.

To report a potential contamination issue, contact us.

How we are controlling weeds and pests

Many weeds and pests can disrupt the native environment. We apply best practice pest management programs that have minimal impact on the environment.

If pesticides are used, we’ll provide notice of use in public places, in one or more of the following ways:

  • placement of signs in the area
  • letters and letterbox drops
  • media
  • directly via telephone or email

Please refer to the Crown land Pesticide Use Notification Plan (PDF, 378 KB) that covers the activities of the department to meet the community's right to know about pesticide applications made to outdoor public places that are controlled or owned by the ministers administering the Crown Land Management Act 2016.

We work with the Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services to manage weeds and pests on Crown land. We also work with Biosecurity NSW and other stakeholders to implement the NSW Biosecurity Strategy.

Grants for weed and pest control funding are also available under the annual Crown Reserves Improvement Fund.

How are we managing dangerous trees

A dangerous tree is defined as any tree or plant-related matter, which may pose a risk to life or property. Crown Lands has procedures in place that allow us to, as far as practical:

  • address environmental, heritage, and cultural considerations
  • undertake a risk assessment
  • ensure all statutory approvals are satisfied
  • ensure that any proposed works are justified to mitigate dangerous tree hazards.

What you can do about a dangerous tree on Crown land

Where overhanging trees are dropping limbs or leaves onto your property, you can under Common Law engage a qualified tree contractor to prune or lop the overhanging limbs without formal approval from Crown Lands when:

  • the work is done from your private property only; and
  • your local council’s Tree Preservation Order allows; and
  • works are completed in accordance with Australian Standard 4373 - Pruning of Amenity Trees.

For information about removing trees on your property, including Tree Preservation Orders, see the Service NSW website.
If you have incurred damage to your property from a dangerous tree on Crown Land, it is recommended that you lodge a claim through your insurer.

To report a dangerous tree on Crown land

Complete the Dangerous Tree notification form to report a dangerous tree.

When reporting a dangerous tree, please include as much detail as possible, including photos if available, so we can locate the site and arrange for appropriate follow-up.

How we are managing and mitigating bushfires and floods

To protect our community and environment, we manage and mitigate bushfire and flood risks by providing a variety of assets including bush fire trails, asset protection zones, and flood refuges on Crown land. By working with local stakeholders and agencies, we can help reduce the impact of an emergency, saving lives and property.


Our ongoing bushfire mitigation program includes maintaining fire trails and asset protection zones (APZs) and undertaking hazard reduction burns within bush fire districts across the state. All work is governed by the Rural Fires Act 1997.

Crown Lands, along with emergency management agencies, other public land managers, local councils, and community representatives participate in Bush Fire Management Committees (BFMC).

These committees are facilitated by the NSW Rural Fire Service and ensure a coordinated response to both bushfire mitigation planning and bushfire emergencies.

In the event of an emergency, always call 000 first. For other bushfire mitigation related enquiries on Crown land managed by us, contact us.

For more information, read the Bushfire Management on Crown land fact sheet (PDF, 162 KB).

For more information, read the Asset Protection Zones on Crown land fact sheet (PDF, 170 KB).

Cultural Burn Program

Crown Lands is proud to announce the newly formed Cultural Burn Program.

For more information visit Cultural Burn Program.


Land associated with tidal and non-tidal waterways, including oceans, rivers and lakes is Crown land—this means most river, creek and lake beds, estuaries, and beaches. We work with various government agencies including others within the department, Water and local councils to assist in the mitigation of flood events across NSW. This includes the implementation of levee walls and monitoring systems on Crown land.

During a flood or bushfire event, many of our assets including showgrounds are used for emergency service agencies to undertake operational activities. This could include using Crown reserves as staging and evacuation areas, as well as locations for disaster recovery efforts. To help our Crown land managers (CLMs) during and after emergencies, we may be able to assist with financial disaster recovery support.

Coastal Management

Crown lands has developed guidelines to manage processes that involve coastal Crown land.

For more information visit Coastal Crown Land Guidelines.