The CEO of The Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) is calling on Australians to help support the community-based organisation in their mission to protect Tasmanian’s unique wilderness.
Since 2001, the Tasmanian Land Conservancy has worked with environmental scientists to identify privately-owned properties worthy of conservation. The TLC will then reach out to landowners to enquire about purchasing the property to develop into a nature reserve. CEO of The Tasmanian Land Conservancy, James Hattam describes the next stage as a “giant crowdfunding campaign”, where the community raise funds to assist the TLC in the purchase of the land.
The TLC’s current campaign is the purchase of a 67ha property on the Tinderbox Peninsula, a project 10 years in the making. James believes that this property epitomises why nature is so valuable in Tasmania. Lying just south of Hobart’s CBD and abound in threatened species, the proximity of this reserve to the city showcases how lucky we are in Tasmania says James, “nature is all around us, wherever we live”. Neighbouring 3 other reserves, the purchase of the Tinderbox Peninsula property will result in 250ha of protected land just a 20-minute drive from Hobart.
The birthplace of both the world’s first ‘Greens’ party in the early 1970s and The Wilderness Society, Tasmania has a long history of environmental conservation. One-fifth of Tasmania’s landmass is declared a Wilderness World Heritage Area, placing the island state’s unique beauty on a global platform.
“Tasmania is a real island oasis. A really special place that has so many natural areas still intact and so many species still here that it’s really worth protecting”
In addition to the purchase of these properties, the continued management of the reserves is key to the TLC’s ethos and James wants to “smack down that myth” that environmental conservation is about “locking the gate and walking away”. Funds are dedicated exclusively to both the management and scientific monitoring of these reserves in perpetuity.
Interestingly, bequests from members of the public have become a significant portion of The Tasmanian Land Conservancy’s donations. Whilst James acknowledges that these sorts of donations can sound “a bit morbid,” these donors or ‘Natural Guardians’ as the TLC has christened them, play an important role in their conservation work.
For James, bequeathing some of your estate to an organisation such as the TLC “is a really powerful way that you can support society in a way that aligns to your values”.
The TLC received $3 million solely from bequests last year, including an incredibly generous bequest from one estate of $1.6 million. These donations have directly gone to the purchase and protection of a new reserve on the Prosser River on Tasmania’s East Coast.
With a clear mission to make Australia’s smallest state a global leader in nature conservation, the TLC is dedicated to protecting Tasmania’s unique beauty and our innate connection to the natural world.
From humble beginnings as the origin of Australia’s environmental conservation movement, organisations such as the Tasmanian Land Conservancy are ensuring that Tasmania remains at the forefront.
Images provided by Tasmanian Land Conservancy
Photography by Andy Townsend & Matt Newton