CSPRA Honorary California State Park Ranger - 1985
John B. DeWitt
The California State Park Rangers Association is pleased to announce the selection of John B. DeWitt as the 1985 Honorary State Park Ranger award.
John Dewitt is a name synonymous with the highest quality contribution to redwood park preservation over a distinguished career of public and private/non-profit service from 1960 until his death in 1996, helping to secure more than $65 million in donations used to acquire 30,000 acres of park lands in Northern and Central California. Dewitt served as Secretary and Executive Director of Save-the-Redwoods League from 1971 to 1995.
Dewitt joined the staff of Save the Redwoods League as Assistant Secretary in 1964; he became its third Secretary and Executive Director in 1978, succeeding Newton B. Drury. As Secretary and Executive Director of Save-the-Redwoods League, Mr. Dewitt was committed to rescuing the ancient redwood forests from destruction. The volume he wrote, "California Redwood Parks and Preserves" describing the redwood parks of California, remains a compelling introduction to the redwood forest and its stewardship.
John devoted his life to the protection of public lands. During his 30 years with Save the Redwoods League, some of his noteworthy projects included the expansion of Redwood National Park in 1978, the establishment of the Smith River National Recreation Area to protect California’s last wild river, and an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to protect groves of giant sequoias from logging.
Dewitt served as an advisor to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior through four administrations.
In January 1995, the John B. Dewitt Grove was established in Redwood National Park. He was also the recipient of the first California State Parks Partnership Award, later renamed in his honor, for a private person who made outstanding contributions to the California State Park System.
A very young John DeWitt (R) with Ronald Reagan (L) and Newton Drury (C).