"The most exciting thing in conservation in the last 15-20 years has been the rise of private conservation." - Professor Ted Lefroy, Director of the Centre for the Environment, University of Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) began in 2001 from humble beginnings and has grown to become one of Tasmania’s largest private landowners, working in nature conservation projects across more than 90,000 hectares of land in Tasmania. We are a not-for-profit organisation that protects nature on private land, both on our own reserves and in partnership with landholders. Through science and community, we inspire and empower people to contribute to nature conservation in Tasmania.
Our vision is for Tasmania to be a global leader in nature conservation.
Through science, community and enduring commitment, we inspire and empower people to conserve nature in Tasmania; we do this for the benefit of current and future human generations and for nature itself.
In a changing world, our work is more important than ever. We hold that nature underpins all life and that our efforts contribute to a future where nature is flourishing, valued and fundamental to Tasmania’s character. We believe we achieve more for nature by working with others to apply the best available science in our decision making. We acknowledge the Tasmanian Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. And we strive to harness the connection of all Tasmanians to this land in achieving our vision
Across Tasmania, we buy land of high natural value to protect habitats for rare and threatened species into the future. We covenant land to resell to conservation-minded owners. We work with landholders to identify, protect and manage habitat on their own properties. And we establish our own nature reserves, where we conduct scientific research and monitoring that informs active management. Our work is carried out by volunteers, expert staff and conservation partners across the state.
We are incredibly fortunate to have been helped along in our work by the extraordinary generosity of our supporters. For example, our acquisition of 26,000 hectares of former logging land led to the New Leaf Project, resulting in a series of protected reserves, some of which the TLC has retained, such as the Five Rivers Reserve, and some that are now part of our Revolving Fund, our properties sale program. We extend huge credit and thanks to Jan Cameron and the Elsie Cameron Foundation for their support.
In other instances, conservation pioneers such as the Brown Mountain Association Inc. and the Tasmanian Conservation Trust have trusted us to continue their excellent work by gifting their properties at Brown Mountain and Lutregala Marsh respectively to the TLC for future management. The Silver Peppermint and Flat Rock Reserves were also gifted to us.Other TLC reserves are protected through the generosity of our supporters across the globe. Recherche Bay became a TLC reserve due to the determination of the Tasmanian community to protect the peninsula from logging, and the engagement of Bob Brown, philanthropists Dick and Pip Smith, the Tasmanian Government and the contributions of hundreds of donors.
Nathan Males was the TLC’s first Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He was also the organisation’s co-founder and first president - he even worked for a year without pay. Nathan paved the way for Jane Hutchinson to take over the helm as CEO in 2011, and build an organisation that would last. During Jane’s leadership the TLC had an incredible impact on the physical and cultural landscape of Tasmania. Highlights include initiating business schemes, a carbon program, building up a solid staff team, and forming historic partnerships with Tasmania’s Aboriginal community - accolades that collectively contributed to her receiving the 2016 Tasmanian of the Year Award. In 2018 James Hattam became the TLC’s third CEO. With James’s leadership the TLC continues to achieve conservation that values nature and the economic, cultural and social benefits it provides us all. Notably, in 2020 the TLC took over management of Tasmania’s Land for Wildlife program from the Tasmanian Government, giving the organisation a whole new way to reach out to private landholders and help them protect nature on their properties.
Banner photo: Andy Townsend