In April the Federal Government released the Australian Terrestrial Biodiversity Assessment 2002. This landmark report assesses the condition of Australia’s landscape and biodiversity and predicts where the current trends will lead us if they're allowed to continue.
With its abundance of data and analysis it confirms for me the absolute necessity of our mission to protect intact bush if we're to effectively safeguard our diminishing natural resources.
Bush Heritage’s land acquisition program is one of the most important contributions to resolving this environmental crisis. The Australian Conservation Foundation’s response to the report states the facts so graphically in the comment, "Past generations may have sleepwalked through extinctions like that of the Tasmanian tiger. We are about to do it with our eyes wide open."
Unless we and our governments act now, future generations will rightly hold us responsible for the conscious loss of our natural heritage. The report also highlights the need for greater funding for the Federal Government’s National Reserve System Program.This program has enabled many organisations, both government and non-government, to create immensely important private and public reserves.
However, it's worth emphasising that it's your donations that give Bush Heritage the eligibility to seek this funding.Your support is crucial. I have been thrilled to see the fruits of our supporters’ labours in recent visits to both the Carnarvon Station and Charles Darwin reserves.
I know that similar progress has been made at our other reserves throughout Australia. Volunteers at Charles Darwin Reserve have already transformed the main house into a safe, clean and welcoming home for the new reserve manager Leigh Whisson and his wife Jackie Courtenay whom we warmly welcome.
I want to thank those who give their time as volunteers for Bush Heritage around Australia.The results that these enthusiastic, skilled people achieve for conservation are very significant, and their efforts are invaluable to the organisation. In addition to their direct role in safeguarding the reserves and their animals and plants, we have estimated in the ten months to April 2003, that volunteers have contributed over $180,000 worth of labour to Bush Heritage.
Whether you're a volunteer, contribute financially or do both, we value your support equally. Please enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you are a part of all the achievements for conservation, that collectively, we make.
Will you join with us in our exciting and achievable plan for the next five years? We plan to create at least another seven reserves across Australia. If you are looking for the simplest and most effective way to help and are not already one of our Friends of the Bush, please consider a monthly automatic deduction through your credit card or by direct debit.
Julie in the Hobart office will be able to assist.You can ring her toll free on 1800 677 101.This method of giving does not suit everyone and your support, however you chose to give it, is what keeps us moving forward.
I am delighted to announce the wonderful donation of land by Judy Henderson that will add another property to the near contiguous reserves in northern Tasmania. Bush Heritage is grateful for this generous gift. I would like to acknowledge two gifts from the estates of Constance Dalziel and Keith Grieve who have passed away recently.They will be remembered with gratitude.Their gifts are a very special contribution towards buying back and caring for our precious bush. Best wishes