WA landowner Peter Swift has been found not guilty of clearing 14 hectares of his property about 60 kilometres east of Manjimup.
The not guilty verdict comes after five court appearances over three years, during which time before and after aerial and satellite pictures were presented as a basis by the prosecution to show illegal clearing had been carried out.
In delivering the verdict on Wednesday, Magistrate Elizabeth Hamilton said the prosecution was unable to establish without reasonable doubt that Mr Swift had cleared the land or allowed land to be cleared between November 2007 and December 2009.
Mr Swift said the trial had taken a financial and emotional toll over the three years and was grateful to supporters, which included Gingin Private Property Rights Group president Murray Nixon and neighbour Glynn Bevan.
"I have been to hell and back and people have been concerned about me," he said.
Mr Swift believed the court decision should be good for private landowners.
The charges were brought by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) under Section 51C of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 which has a maximum penalty of $250,000 for the offence.
Mr Swift had refused an offer to plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence.
Earlier this year the DEC was investigating 54 cases of alleged unauthorised clearing as a result of observations of DEC officers or complaints submitted to the department, with a further 25 cases pending investigation.
p Full story in next week's Farm Weekly.