Award winning writer, duck hunter, who invented school-based outdoor program that enrolled 350,000 students – 2004
Ottesen is the award-winning outdoor writer for the Stockton Record, an educator who invented an outdoors program for students, the personal guardian of 2,800 acres of wetlands, and an expert waterfowl hunter and wildlife lover. His impact on the public has been far reaching and long lasting.
As a 35-year administrator of the San Joaquin County Outdoor School, Ottesen took more than 350,000 fifth/sixth-grade children for five days and four nights to the Santa Cruz Mountains. He also started the regional “Kids Catch A Smile” fishing program for physically challenged children.
He is best known publicly for his outdoors writing, including the longest current consecutive tenure of any outdoor writer in California. Ottesen wrote provocative stories about the toxic disaster at Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge. In addition, he has authored several other books including “Birds and Mammals of San Joaquin County,” “Legacy of Venice Island,” and “History of the Salinas Gun Club.”
He was involved in the ongoing saga of acquiring an adequate supply of good-quality Central Valley Project water for the Grassland Ecological Area and Central Valley Refuges, benefiting more than 350 wildlife species. His current crusade is Restoring the Delta and protecting its water quality.