John Olmsted

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John Olmsted
John Olmsted with Alden Olmsted, South Yuba River State Park, 2009.jpg
Born John De Vaux Olmsted
March 2, 1938
Los Angeles, California
Died March 8, 2011(2011-03-08) (aged 72)
Nevada City, California
Occupation Conservationist, Naturalist, Botanist, Strybing Arboretum, Oakland Museum
Known for Founding the California Institute of Man in Nature, Jug Handle State Natural Reserve, Cross California Ecological Trail, Independence Trail, Yuba (Colgate) Powerhouse, Earth Planet Museum
Spouse(s) Priscilla Dahlgren, Sally Cates
Children Erik Olmsted, Alden Olmsted

John D. Olmsted (March 2, 1938 – March 8, 2011) was a California naturalist and conservationist most famous for creating the Independence Trail in Nevada City, California, as well as helping to save numerous other parcels across California, from Jug Handle State Natural Reserve near Casper, California to the Bridgeport covered bridge. His efforts and vision of a park at Bridgeport led to the creation of the South Yuba River State Park, a 39-mile length of Nationally protected Wild and Scenic land along the South Yuba River in Nevada County, California. Olmsted patterned his life after that of fellow environmentalist John Muir, with his trademark beard, formal clothing, and poetic and spiritual leanings towards the benefits of time spent in nature.

He founded the Earth Planet Museum in Grass Valley [1] as a tribute to John Muir, environmentalism in California, and as a visual history of recorded audio and alternate technologies. During his time in Mendocino he worked with Hans Jenny in recognizing and preserving the Pygmy Forest, which is located within the boundaries of Jug Handle. His dream of a cross-California hiking trail remains the focus and goal of his devoted followers.[2] He was a resident of Nevada City, California, and is survived by his two sons, Erik Olmsted and Alden Olmsted.[3]


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  2. ^ "Conservation Award". Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  3. ^ South Yuba River Independence Trail in Nevada County. "South Yuba River Independence Trail in Nevada County". Retrieved 2011-03-20.