Phil Cullen, Landscape Ecologist and Stuart Cowell, Conservation Programs Manager were in Western Australia to take ownership of White Wells.
The year got off to a flying start with the protection of some of the most threatened woodland and sandplain habitats in Western Australia.
On January 10 Bush Heritage we took ownership of the pastoral lease White Wells, now to be known as the Charles Darwin Reserve.
This was a red-letter day for us all - securing 68,600 ha of country with extremely high conservation values and at the same time doubling the size of our reserve holdings.
Funding from the Commonwealth’s Natural Heritage Trust, a wonderful gift from Chris and Jacqui Darwin, help from Australian Geographic Society and your generous donations made this purchase possible.
Stuart and I were both at the Reserve for the property settlement and to begin the transition from pastoral to conservation management.
We interviewed some great candidates for the position of Reserve Manager and hopefully they will be in place by early April. Until then, the current caretakers, Barry and Carol Simpson, will stay on.
A dedicated team of volunteers is about to begin the long and difficult task of cleaning up. We hope that the official launch of the Charles Darwin Reserve will be later in 2003, once the new managers have settled in.
In the long-term, the Reserve will operate in a similar manner to Carnarvon Station Reserve, with a volunteer ranger program and the opportunity for you to visit and see this outstanding area that you've helped to protect.