From the CEO – Reserve number 21

Wednesday 21 December, 2005

Bush Heritage has secured its 21st reserve and it is stunning.

Cravens Peak lies in the heart of the Outback and will protect examples of some of the most important and as yet unreserved vegetation communities in the Channel Country.

Sunset at Cravens Peak Reserve, Qld. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.Sunset at Cravens Peak Reserve, Qld. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.

Its populations of small mammals and reptiles are unusually diverse. With the purchase of Cravens Peak, Bush Heritage now protects over ‘one million acres’ of land and  water, more than 171 vegetation communities and populations of at least 55 threatened animal species.

What a remarkable achievement for our 14 000 supporters in only 14 years! However, these reserves are more than satisfying lists or figures in accounting tables. They are functioning, living systems, supported and actively managed by professional staff, volunteers, visitors and research teams.

They are also places of learning, where our knowledge of the environment and how best to manage it is growing all the time.

As we continue to work with, and learn from, our neighbours and local communities, we will be better able to help care for the broader landscapes around us.

Recently our colleagues at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in the United States announced the startling reappearance of the ivory-billed woodpecker in the Big Woods of Arkansas (www.nature.org/ivorybill). The bird had been considered extinct but was rediscovered in areas conserved by TNC and others in the Mississippi Delta.

Whether or not we contribute to such a discovery in Australia, Bush Heritage reserves provide a haven for native species, contribute significantly to maintaining healthy, functioning landscapes and provide wonderful opportunities for research, visitation and education.

The reserves we protect contribute measurably to the abundance of life on earth. As I write this in my flourishing spring garden in the suburbs, it makes me optimistic and enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead.

Thank you for your continuing support and encouragement of Bush Heritage. If you can help us further by giving for the acquisition of Cravens Peak, it would be an important contribution.

The forthcoming months promise further exciting developments. In the meantime, please enjoy a safe and happy festive season and New Year, and don't hesitate to visit our website or call the Conservation Support Centre at 1300 NATURE (1300 628 873) if you have any questions.

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Doug Humann, CEO

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