July 12, 2020
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Ranger retires after 36 years

By: Irene Hilsendager
May 10, 2019

The Point Reyes Coast line is one person lonelier since John Dell’Osso retired. John Dell’Osso, the current Cotati Mayor, was born in the sunset district of San Francisco, Ca. John’s parents, Vincent and Rose came to the United State from Italy and settled for a few years in Tracy, actually farming with relatives.

The once elegant Green Mill, standing dilapidated two miles south of Cotati, was owned by the Dell’Osso family. Last year the Dell’Osso clan sold the property to Bergan University.

John grew up on the east side of Petaluma. Mom, Rose, who just turned 91 two weeks ago and a beautiful Italian lady who is extremely fit for her age and the apple of John’s eye.

Dell’Osso and wife Jacquie moved to Cotati in 1986 purchasing a house in the bird section of Cotati. They were blessed to have two children, Gabe, who is 28, is employed with Traditional Tea Co. and Rachael, 25, works with the National Park Service at Point Reyes in the capacity of dealing with agreements and non-profits for the western states.

John attended UC Davis and just before graduation he was offered a temporary position as a park ranger. He has been proud for 36 years to wear his ranger uniform and work for a myriad of resources with the national park unit.

Basically being a public information officer, locating lost hikers and drownings, John has built up a great relationship with the media through the years. Anderson Cooper from CN&N has even interviewed John. During the past government shutdown, Point Reyes shoreline news became local, national and international when elephant seals decided to storm the Point Reyes visitor center along with the parking lot to give birth to about 50 new seal pups. New pups cannot be disturbed so they made Point Reyes their home and Dell’Osso the gate keeper.

Since Point Reyes has about 80 miles of coast line on 71,000 acres around 2.5 million visitors and people on the job training visit this vast acreage per year.

As most employees usually work around 2,080 hours a year and a career of 36 years, we could say John has worked around 74,880 hours in his ranger uniform.

Dell’Osso became interested in politics when Robert Coleman, then Cotati mayor, suddenly passed away. The selection was open to the public and John put in his application, was interviewed and selected for a two-year council term and has been in the political arena since. 

John has served in many different capacities of government. He has been mayor, Cotati City Councilman, Sonoma County Library Commissioner, appointed to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and open space District Advisory Committee, has been a member of the RP-Cotati Library Foundation, on the board of the Cotati Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Rancho Little League, Rancho Cotate High School Project graduation and served on the Cotati’s Environmental Advisory Commission. He volunteers in many different capacities and others which are too numerous to mention.

Former park ranger, Dell’Osso says with pride in his voice, “I have been really blessed to have had a job the American public has trusted me with resources to preserve and protect to allow future generations to enjoy them.”