Our story began when two rainforest blocks adjacent to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area were put up for sale and marketed as 'ideal for woodchipping'.
It was 1990, and unwilling to see this patch of forest destroyed, politician, activist and local resident Bob Brown used $49,000 awarded to him as recipient of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize as a down payment on the land, borrowing the rest from friends and the bank.
The fundraising campaign to recover this debt was the birth of Bush Heritage in 1991.
Bit by bit these forest blocks in Tasmania's Liffey Valley were paid for (becoming our Liffey River and Dry's Bluff Reserves).
Once they knew they could pay off the debt, Bob urged expansion to employ staff, to make a new purchase, then another, and then to an official presence outside Tasmania.
Partnerships in conservation
As the organisation grew, it became obvious that just buying land wasn't enough to safeguard our precious but threatened natural heritage. Much land that's vital to regional conservation is in private hands.
So in 2006 we started building partnerships with landowners – pastoralists, farmers (such as those in the Tasmanian Midlands) and Aboriginal landowners – to help them manage their land for conservation.
A national presence
Since then, the Australian public has rallied behind Bush Heritage. From just a few hundred hectares in 1991, we now help protect over 11.3 million hectares across Australia on our reserve and partnership properties. And it's all thanks to our supporters.
Our supporters saw an opportunity to really do something about conserving our country. And their vision has paid off. If we're considered successful, they're the reason why. We can't thank them enough for what they've done.