HISTORY

The Mendocino Tahoe Conservancy is dedicated to the land ethics and land preservation traditions of John Muir (1838-1914) and Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) and John Devaux Olmsted (March 2, 1938 - March 8, 2011) John Olmsted founded The Mendocino-Tahoe Conservancy in 2010, shortly before his death.

About Our Founder, John Olmsted

John Deveaux Olmsted (at left), MTC Founder, was inspired by conservationist John Muir. Olmsted spent more than 40 years pursuing his dream of a Cross-California Trail between Lake Tahoe and the Pacific Ocean. He proposed creating a public-land corridor that would connect a "necklace" of natural landscapes stretching across Northern California.

John Olmsted was a noted naturalist, educator and volunteer conservationist. He spoke frequently in public on various conservation topics. He founded the California Institute of Man in Nature in 1968. In 1969 Olmsted rediscovered many rock-lined ditches and wood flumes overlooking the South Yuba River in Nevada County. That trail became the nation's first wheelchair accessible wilderness trail. He campaigned for creation of a necklace of protected areas from the California Coast to Lake Tahoe. He authored the book Adventures On And Off Interstate 80.

Olmsted's life was dedicated to the land ethics and land preservation traditions of John Muir. Like Muir he worked tirelessly to preserve wild areas, open space, trails, parks, and rural landscapes. He followed an elusive 45 year path furthering first the works of Muir, idol of his youth, and later 3 Olmsted cousins whose baton he grasped from 1979-92 by gaining token legislation and designations for California Heritage Corridors +$20,000 for a Heritage Corridor Map in conjunction with Chico State University. John was one of four modern environmentalists pictured and profiled in the recent National Geographic Society book, John Muir: Nature's Visionary by Gretel Ehrlich. John died of liver cancer March 8, 2011 at his home in Nevada City, California. He was 73. Read Olmsted's obituary in the Sacramento Bee.

 

Sonnet for John Olmsted
The bridge across the universe is crossed
Like native red raspberries through the frost
The battle with the Himalayans staged
With enemy blackberries still engaged
If work and love were always so combined
With nobody nor nothing left behind
Then every creature here below would be
Enjoying nature’s planned prosperity
A red-winged blackbird streaks across the scene
An elegant white iris wild and free
The misty clouds above the waterfall
This heavenly display is seen by all
The smiling face, the clippers and the glove
The wonder filled adventures from above
~June 4, 2011 Suzanne Weller