The Blue Mountains community is mourning the recent passing of well known local environmental advocate Lachlan Garland. Lachlan was a passionate, committed and hardworking volunteer dedicated to conserving the beautiful Blue Mountains environment.
A very experienced and highly-skilled bush regenerator, Lachlan's involvement in Bushcare was his great love, working on the ground with fellow volunteers. Over the years, Lachlan had been a member of numerous Bushcare groups throughout the Mountains.
Lachlan was also a founding member and co-ordinator of the Jamison Creek Catchment Group. He worked closely with Blue Mountains City Council to remediate and improve bushland areas in the catchment, with education being a major focus. Appropriately, Lachlan's outstanding long-term commitment to Bushcare was recognised in 2019 with him being awarded Council's Bushcare Legend Award.
Lachlan was appointed by the NSW Environment Minister to the National Parks Blue Mountains regional advisory committee, which he served on from 2010 to 2016. During this time Lachlan worked to protect our national parks, providing considered advice on visitor management, fire management, weed and pest strategies and threatened species management.
Lachlan was also a long standing member of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society and held various roles on the society's management committee, notably president (2011, 2012 and 2019), membership secretary and national parks officer, as well as being an active member of the land use sub-committee. During his time as president, he worked valiantly to protect Radiata Plateau and its recent inclusion within the national park system is a testament to his efforts.
Lachlan was a member of the Blue Mountains Bird Observers, creating the position of conservation officer and actively working to protect local bird populations. He was also an active volunteer firefighter with the Valley Heights RFS Brigade for 10 years, where he participated in ongoing training, maintenance of equipment and fundraising.
In 2020, Lachlan was honoured with a Seniors' Week recognition award in tribute to all his environmental and community work.
Lachlan will be remembered for his sense of humour and wicked grin. He was highly organised and meticulous, an avid reader who was highly respected for his knowledge and experience. Lachlan will be sadly missed by his family and friends and the many people who have worked and volunteered with him. He will be remembered as a man who put his thought and passions into action in protecting the environment he loved.
Several councillors paid tribute to Lachlan at the September meeting, including the mayor, Mark Greenhill, who said he was "dedicated and determined to defend the beautiful environment that surrounds us".
Greens councillor, Brent Hoare, fought back tears as he said "vale" to a true friend.
"He made a huge contribution to the community and we will all be much the poorer for his loss."