John D. Olmsted, Naturalist (1938-2011)
March 20, 2011 7:57 PM   Subscribe

John D. Olmsted, a naturalist who for over 40 years led efforts to preserve Northern California nature areas, open spaces and hiking trails, recently passed away at the age of 73. A distant relative of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, John D. Olmsted was inspired by John Muir to preserve wilderness, and his son recently completed a film about his life.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream (9 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
posted by spitefulcrow at 9:15 PM on March 20, 2011

He was key in developing the gorgeous (and currently underwater) American River Parkway. So he made my life better.
posted by Duffington at 9:29 PM on March 20, 2011

Wow, I never heard about him before, thanks. And,

posted by foonly at 9:50 PM on March 20, 2011

I learned a whole lot from John Olmstead, starting a couple of decades ago when I stumbled unexpectedly into beginning the botanical restoration of 40 acres of burnt-over mountainside (a 200-year project; he had several of those going and a great attitude about doing what we can with what we have while we're here). He helped in many different ways, from ideas to surveying to more ideas, and always by example. I always wished I had more time to learn from him.
posted by hank at 10:23 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:30 PM on March 20, 2011

posted by Wyatt at 12:44 AM on March 21, 2011

He was a man who accomplished great things in his life. RIP Mr. Olmsted.
posted by caddis at 3:42 AM on March 21, 2011

I'm so grateful for Olmsted's work in preserving spaces in Northern California. We need more like him. RIP Mr. Olmsted. It's touching to know that he viewed the film his son made before he passed. He will be missed.
posted by hampanda at 10:19 AM on March 21, 2011

So apparently I've had some confusion as to which Olmsted was responsible for which awesome thing I've noticed over the last couple of years. I think maybe it started with reading Devil in the White City, and then standing at Olmsted Point in Yosemite a few weeks later. Must've dislodged some hop resin from the recesses of my college geography encrypted brain.

However between Frederick Law Olmsted, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., John Charles Olmsted, and John D. Olmstead I'm all mixed up. I can't find the familial connection between the subject of this post and the others though, other than the "distant cousin" mentioned in the first article. What an incredible legacy these Olmsteds have left us with. With luck Alden and Erik can keep it up.

Thanks for posting this The Emperor of Ice Cream.
posted by Big_B at 11:06 AM on March 21, 2011

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