In many ways, the creation of Liffey Valley Reserves in 1991 marks a watershed in the history of the Australian conservation movement.
Bob Brown, then a member of the Tasmanian Parliament, had recently won the Goldman Prize (an international environment award worth around $50 000) when a couple of bush blocks near his Liffey Valley cottage came up for sale.
Bob was keen to save the bush blocks from imminent logging. He eventually decided to put in a bid, and asked a friend to attend the auction.
‘I was sitting in the Tasmanian Parliament and he rang at night to say you've secured the blocks at the reserve price of a quarter of a million dollars,' says Bob.
A sympathetic bank manager and some very generous donors came to the rescue, and Liffey became the first Reserve for a new conservation organisation, the Australian Bush Heritage Fund, now Bush Heritage Australia.