A legend of the land

  • J.David Love

    Wyoming Travel Commission
 

A legend of the land

He's been described by writer John McPhee as the "grand old man of Rocky Mountain geology," and by longtime friend and HCN founder Tom Bell as a man you meet "once in a lifetime." Born in Riverton, Wyo., in 1913, and raised in the rich landscape that became his life's work, J. David Love was an admired geologist and an unrelenting lover of the land.

His thorough investigation of Wyoming's geologic riches eventually led to widespread mining - an irony that inspired Love to fight for the environmental health of his state, particularly the Red Desert in southern Wyoming. But his dedication to his economically strained neighbors was equally fierce in a state whose economy depends heavily on its natural resources. McPhee's book, Rising From the Plains, profiled the conflicted Love, as well as his parents, who were early pioneers in the Wyoming wildlands.

Even in his 80s, Love, who was one of HCN's first supporters, continued to hike in the mountains near his home in Casper, which he shared with Jane Love, his wife of 62 years, and where he died at the age of 89.