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Peter Ehrlich holding a tree.

Jun 22, 2017

PlaceMaker: Forester Peter Ehrlich Leaves Behind a Legacy of Trees in the Presidio

Learn about the legacy of the Presidio Trust's first forester.


Long-time Presidio forester Peter Ehrlich was set to retire this month, but following a bicycle accident near his home in Petaluma, California, he passed away on May 2, 2017.

Peter was well-known and well-loved by his colleagues and the park community. He helped develop the reforestation plan for the Presidio, supported the installation of Andy Goldsworthy’s four site-specific art pieces, led the effort to reforest 31 acres with 4,000 young trees in the Presidio over the past 18 years, and inspired countless people on the wonders and majesty of the forest through guided walks, talks, and docent trainings.

As much as Peter cherished his trees, he also had a deep love for the plants and birds found in the park, for poetry (he could recite passages from Dante’s Inferno in Latin!), travel, and for his family and friends. He was always generous with his knowledge and his treasures, regularly sharing prized roses from his garden with friends and colleagues. Though his family, his friends, and the park itself have lost a wonderful friend, Peter’s legacy lives on through his daughter, Lily, and in the spirit of the forest he nurtured. He is the epitome of a Presidio PlaceMaker.

Learn More About Peter Ehrlich:

Read the 2004 article from the San Francisco Chronicle about the Presidio Forest with an interview with Peter Ehrlich >>

Read the May 2017 San Francisco Magazine article about the Presidio’s forest, including an interview with Peter Ehrlich >>


Peter and forestry crew.
Peter hiking.
Peter while building Tree Fall.
Peter leading a talk about the forest.
Peter photographing a tree.
Peter traveling and hiking.
Peter in a pit.
Peter and crew.
Peter with volunteers.
Peter with crew.
Peter hiking in the mountains.
Presidio Forest.