natural resources conservation league

As one of Victoria’s oldest conservation organisations, the Natural Resources Conservation League has a long history of effective action across the state.


The Natural Resources Conservation Trust was established as the grant making arm of the Natural Conservation League. The League and Trust work closely together, guided by separate Boards.

Where it began: Save the Forests Campaign

The origins of the Natural Resources Conservation League trace back to a response to the 1939 ‘Black Friday’ bushfires. Five years after the fires, in 1944, the Save the Forests Campaign started. These days Black Friday is synonymous with sales but for Victorians who lived through the fires, the loss was devastating. The bushfires killed 71 people and burnt over 2 million hectares of land including substantial Mountain Ash forest from East Melbourne to the Murray River.
The aim of the Save the Forests Campaign was “…to impress upon the people of the State the fundamental importance of forest preservation in relation to the timber, soil and water resources…”.

How it progressed: Natural Resources Conservation League

The Save the Forests Campaign expanded in purpose to help revegetate Victoria and became incorporated as a non-profit member based organisation named the Natural Resources Conservation League in 1951.

The Natural Resources Conservation League developed an impressive reputation for conservation initiatives, including annual production and distribution of over 1 million native trees annually to farms, councils and schools.
Key initiatives of the League included community forest plantings with plants supplied and plantings coordinated by the League. 

The League also established plant nurseries across Victoria with stock sold and delivered to local councils, farmers, schools and members.


In 1986, the League established Cyril Isaac Avenue of Honour at Cranbourne. Cyril Isaac was instrumental in starting the Save The Forests campaign and played a leading role in the formation of the League.

The league as…

A conservation thought leader

As well as one the ground initiatives, the League conducted regional forums and educational activities on Natural Resource Management issues. For those interested in the industry, the League produced an informative magazine for over 50 years, firstly titled ‘Victoria’s Resources then ‘Conservation News’ followed by ‘Trees and Natural Resources’.

The League advocating for our natural world

Many of the conservation outcomes achieved last century were aided by the League’s lobbying role. These outcomes include the protection of the Little Desert; creation of the Land Conservation Council (now VEAC); supporting the creation of Landcare; and increasing funding and promotion of environmental education.