"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 65,000 hectares of land in Tasmania, including King Island. Our vision is for Tasmania to be a global leader in nature conservation. This vision goes beyond our organisation, and we are part of an exciting community of innovators and collaborators in conservation. We work in partnerships where we can, simply because it makes sense.
The TLC is committed to applying rigorous scientific thinking to all our ventures. The TLC’s Conservation Science and Planning team are in constant collaboration with other organisations to ensure we are employing the latest and most effective techniques in our work.The TLC enjoys a strong supporter base and our work is critically enhanced by our community of volunteers who contribute time, skills and expertise to our science, reserve management and governance.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.
TLC reserves will be managed into the future by the Reserves Team, or be on-sold through our Revolving Fund Program into the care of conservation-minded landowners. Our conservation efforts might take the form of a covenant on private land, or protected grassland and grassy woodlands on a working farm. In every case, the benefits belong to the future of the Tasmanian environment and the lucky residents - both non-human and human - who share life on this glorious island.
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 essentially 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 will continue to achieve conservation that values nature and the economic, cultural and social benefits it provides us all.
The TLC’s science-driven conservation projects continue to protect the habitat of Tasmanian devils, wedge-tailed eagles and the endangered Clarence Galaxias native fish on the TLC’s private reserves such as Skullbone Plains, the Vale of Belvoir and Recherche Bay. Three TLC reserves are now included in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area which is a testament to the sound management of these precious natural places. All TLC reserves co-exist within the community of neighbours, where we foster strong relationships, through ensuring that the TLC contributes to the local economy and draws strongly on the local expertise and historical knowledge. Farmers, conservationists, Aboriginal leaders, major donors, business leaders and politicians all openly express their admiration for the TLC. From humble beginnings, but with big ambitions, the TLC’s passion for conservation endures and flourishes.
Banner photo: Andy Townsend