Blue Mountains Conservation Society - a timeline
BMCS logo
Society Timeline from its inception in 1961
Mist in the Wolgan Society bushwalk to Burra Korain Flat on the Grose River c. 1985
The Blue Mountains Conservation Society celebrated its 60th anniversary in October 2021 - and since it was during the times of COVID-19, no public celebration could be held.

The October 2021 edition of Hut News contained many reminiscences and a time line that is reproduced below - but now with images and links.

Society bushwalks have been the cornerstone of our activities - whether experiencing our special places with others, or in quiet reflection, they pepper all our newsletters, create memories and continue to provide joy and friendship.

(click all images to see a larger version)

Preface (by Susan Crick)

Mist in the Wolgan Mist in the Wolgan c.2006  (Hugh Speirs)
To recall all the achievements of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society has been a challenging task and Alan Page, Meredith Brownhill, Lyndal Sullivan, Margaret Baker and Carolyn Williams have met this challenge in creating this timeline.

An essential and legal requirement such as governance barely rates a mention. The thousands of formal submissions and letters sent, bush walks arranged and meetings held also get little attention.

The Society was also actively involved in national campaigns such as Save The Franklin, Daintree and Myall Lakes, and has participated in Nature Conservation Council initiatives for decades.

This is a moment in our history to pause and reflect on where we’ve come from. While some people are mentioned, there are hundreds that should be – especially those that served on committees for many years. To those, we say thank you.

The Blue Mountains Conservation Societies since 1961.

Upper Blue Mountains   -   Lower Blue Mountains   -   Blue Mountains

Upper Blue Mountains Conservation Society (1961-1996)

Society membership card in 1962 Society membership card in 1962
1961 The Katoomba and District Fauna and Flora Protection Society was formed. Frank Walford patron; Fred Astle president.
1962 Name changed to Katoomba and District Wildlife Conservation Society, with the motto “wildlife conservation saves for future generations”.
1963 Official opening of the Conservation Hut, Wentworth Falls – a refurbished kiosk
1960s Valley of the Waters 530A Committee took an active interest in protecting the environment and the walking tracks, including the Nature Trail.
1960s Campaign to prevent limestone mining in the Colong Caves - now protected in Kanangra-Boyd National Park.
1970 Newsletter No. 1 published. The October 2021 edition of Hut News is No. 396.
1970 Allen Strom becomes patron.
1971 Clutha coal mine in the Blue Mountains stopped.
1973 Gas pipeline protest stopped a gas pipeline being built through the Wollangambe Wilderness.
1974 Extensive town plan submission prepared and submitted to Council.
1974 The Save the Boyd Plateau Campaign stopped pine plantations and a paper pulp mill on Boyd Plateau. The plateau was added to Kanangra–Boyd National Park in l977, and declared a wilderness in l997.
1978 Land Preservation Committee formed.
1979 Propagating and selling native plants went into full swing to provide funds for the Land Preservation Fund. Plants grown at home, especially by Grete Vanry and Jill Dark, were provided for sale. Native plant talks and walks conducted.
Plate 14 Gracius Broinowski’s painting of
Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos
1981-3 Bell sand mining opposed.
1983 Name changed to the Upper Blue Mountains Conservation Society.
1983 Leura Convention Centre/Fairmont Resort campaign started. The Resort went ahead but with modification of building design.
1984 Pillar extraction coal mining stopped at Belltrees (near Bell).
1985 Gracius Broinowski’s painting of a Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo first appears as the Society’s logo.
1987 Land acquired using Society funds and added to Water Nymphs Dell Reserve at Wentworth Falls.
1987 The Society became an incorporated organisation.
1988-92 Campaign against the proposed ‘Crocodile Park’ at Wentworth Falls.
1989 Friends of the Blue Mountains, the first bushcare group in the upper mountains, was formed by Society members.
1989 Field work undertaken and submission compiled for Blue Mountains LEP 1991.
1989 World Heritage for the Blue Mountains Campaign started as Geoff Mosley wrote the first submission - which was unsuccessful. The leaflet “Our Precious Heritage” was printed.
1990 The campaign to save Elphinstone/Radiata Plateau from development was launched by Pulpit Hill residents. The Society, and especially Wyn Jones, was involved from the beginning.
Grete Vanry planting a Sydney Peppermint Grete Vanry planting a Sydney Peppermint at the "green" opening of the Hut in 1991.
Robin Corringham supervising.
1991 Society nursery at Blackheath opened.
1991 Campaign to elect environmentally friendly aldermen on the Blue Mountains City Council was successful.
1991 Campaigned for some years against rezonings which would have allowed a great loss of bushland. The first Blue Mountains Local Environmental Plan provided for more environmental protection.
1992 The World Heritage Walk. Wyn Jones inspired walkers and led the walk from Widden (Hunter Valley) through the national park system to Mittagong.
1993 The new Conservation Hut and John Buki Garden officially opened. A time capsule was placed in the Hut’s wall.
1993 Environmental reference library was established in Katoomba Library with the Society’s $3,000 donation.
John Buki garden in front of The Hut. John Buki garden in front of The Hut.
1993 Society convenes forum of Bushcare groups and relevant government agencies facilitating the formation of the Bushcare Network.
1994 23ha inholding acquired using Society funds and included in the Kanangra-Boyd National Park.
1996 The Society’s newsletter is named Hut News and becomes a monthly publication under its new editor Christine Davies.

Lower Blue Mountains Conservation Society (1966-1996)

Kalori newsletter cover - April 1967 Kalori newsletter cover - April 1967
1966 The Lower Blue Mountains Wildlife Conservation Society (LBMCS) was formed. Mr. H.L. (Lindsay) Paish president.
1967 First newsletter published known as “Kalori” which means “message stick”.
1967 Unsuccessful attempt to have the vacant crown land at Yellow Rock declared a Lyrebird Sanctuary.
1968 Motto of “Conserve, Preserve, Investigate, Educate”.
1971 Clutha coal mine in the Blue Mountains stopped.
1980s Campaign to protect Eucalyptus burgessiana (Faulconbridge Mallee Ash) from housing developments and frequent bushfire hazard reductions on northern side of Faulconbridge and Linden; process ongoing.
1982 Darks Common dedicated after years of campaigning to protect the eastern escarpment from housing.
1986 Submission to include the headwaters of Linden Creek in the Blue Mountains National Park. Campaign continues today on the now mostly E2 land.
1988 Subdivision plans for a housing estate in Faulconbridge Mallee country opposed; in the 1991 final deliberation, house numbers were reduced and Burgessiana Reserve declared.
1988-92 Campaign against the proposed ‘Crocodile Park’ at Wentworth Falls.
Mick Dark Mick Dark. President of the Society for nine years and Vice President for eight years. These were at different times in both the Lower and Upper Blue Mountains societies.
1991 290ha of unique Castlereagh Woodlands in Londonderry saved from the State government’s mega rubbish tip proposal; LBMCS was part of the fighting committee from its inception.
1991 Campaign to elect environmentally friendly aldermen on the Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) successful.
1991 Campaigned for some years against rezonings that would have allowed a great loss of bushland. The first Blue Mountains Local Environmental Plan provided for more environmental protection zonings.
1992 LBMCS becomes incorporated; supports launch of Blue Mountains for World Heritage campaign.
1993 Practical action to assist local campaigns eg restoration of Glenbrook Lagoon and Deanei Forest, Springwood.
1993 Supported first threatened species legislation (NSW) and the first Gardens of Stone campaign.
1994 Bushfire control policy and hazard reduction practices dominate discussion in the wake of the January Grose Valley fire; first proposal to raise the wall of Warragamba Dam opposed.
1995 After many years of campaigning Yellomundee Regional Park was gazetted.
1995 Members voted in November to amalgamate with the Upper Blue Mountains Conservation Society.

Blue Mountains Conservation Society (from 1996)

GWH Planting - 2002 Society nursery plants on GWH in 2002  (David Coleby)
1996 The Lower and Upper Blue Mountains Societies merged.
1996 Valley of the Waters bushcare group formed.
1996-2005 Major campaign supporting the development of LEP 2005.
1996-7 Wollemi Wilderness proposal supported. The Wollemi Wilderness was declared in 1999.
1997 Drs Judy and Peter Smith published Buffer Zones for the Protection of Sensitive Vegetation Units in the City of Blue Mountains.
The study, commissioned by the Society and others, established 60m as the minimum buffer necessary to protect sensitive vegetation communities.
The findings of the study were adopted by Council.
1997 Detailed submission to Draft LEP 1997.
1998-2005 Detailed submission to Commission of Inquiry into Draft LEP 1997.
Living With The Bush booklet Living With The Bush booklet
1998 The Society web site launched.
1998 Living Near the Bush booklet developed and launched.
1998 Amendment 25 to LEP 1991 approved giving protection to sensitive lands from subdivision development.
1998 Earth sanctuaries proposal for Canyon Colliery. After an intense public campaign the government returned most of the Canyon Colliery site to the Blue Mountains National Park.
1999-2008 Representations made to NSW government to incorporate Katoomba Airfield in National Park.
1999 Lithgow silicon smelter opposed. The campaign resulted in strict environmental safeguards being imposed.
Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area  (courtesy of NPWS)
2000 On 29th November 2000, the World Heritage Committee unanimously agreed to inscribe the Greater Blue Mountains Area on the World Heritage List.
2002 Amendment to NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act to add a category of “Vulnerable Ecological Communities” which subsequently allowed Blue Mountains swamps to be listed.
2002-07 Campaign to return Canyon Colliery to the national park. Most of the 900 hectares have been returned.
2004 Stealth movie filming at Mt. Hay found to be unlawful – “declared wilderness areas are sacrosanct”.
Protect Gardens of Stone Rally in 2012 Protect Gardens of Stone Rally in 2012
2005 Blue Mountains swamps listed under federal legislation (EPBC Act).
2005 Gardens of Stone Alliance formed to campaign for the protection of the Gardens of Stone Stage 2
2005 Plant Study Group started for members to learn about Blue Mountains plants.
2007 Blue Mountains swamps are listed under NSW legislation.
2010-19 Election questionnaires prepared, completed and published in eight elections.
2011 Delta Electricity admits to polluting the Coxs River and agrees to take action.
2011-12 ‘No Hunting in National Parks’ campaign.
Ngula Bulgarabang Regional Park Ngula Bulgarabang Regional Park
2012-15 Coalpac’s open-cut mine proposal rejected.
2013-15 Major campaign in support of draft LEP 2013. It became LEP 2015.
2013-20 Supporting the preparation of the Bush Tracker guides for kids.
2015 Inaugural ‘Mick Dark Talk for the Future’ held.
2018 Campaign to have the Katoomba Airfield incorporated in the Blue Mountains National Park recommenced.
2019 After a thirty year campaign with local residents, Radiata Plateau becomes the Ngula Bulgarabang Regional Park.
2021 The Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area is finally created after twenty year campaign.

Contact us   © 2022  Blue Mountains Conservation Society Inc.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land
– the Darug and Gundungurra people –
and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.