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April 16, 2024

Pinnacles National Park superintendent to transfer

Karen Beppler-Dorn, the superintendent of Pinnacles National Park for the past seven-plus years who oversaw its transition to a national park, is leaving the position to take on a new role in Ohio later this month.

Beppler-Dorn became superintendent of Pinnacles in 2011 when it was still a national monument, before former President Obama signed legislation making it the 59th national park in 2013. Her career in the National Park Service spans more than three decades and a wide variety of roles.

Dorn will take on her new role as superintendent of the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in her home state on Sept. 16. There will be a going-away celebration for Dorn from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 11 at the GardenShoppe, 364 Seventh St., in Hollister.

The Pinnacles National Park Foundation announced her departure in a recent statement that reads as follows:

A 33-year veteran of the NPS, Karen came to Pinnacles in 2011, prior to Pinnacles being elevated to a National Park in 2013. She assumes her new role in Ohio on Sept. 16.

“Karen will bring great experience and caring involvement to her new position. Her support has been critical to the success of our mission. We appreciate all the hours she has dedicated to our partnership and we wish her well in her new endeavor,” says Tim Regan, Board President of the Pinnacles National Park Foundation.

“It is an honor to be selected as superintendent of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park,” said Dorn.  “I am excited to be returning to my home state of Ohio and look forward to building on the strong foundations already established by park staff with community partners and the nine affiliated American Indian tribes.”

Dorn is from northeastern Ohio. She began her career as a law enforcement ranger at Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in 1985 and has worked in many national parks from West Virginia to Washington State.  For the past seven years, Dorn has served as superintendent of Pinnacles National Park in California.  Prior to transferring to Pinnacles, Dorn served as superintendent of Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park in Washington and Chief of Natural and Cultural Resource Management at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.

Dorn is a 1984 graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.  She completed the Penn State University Executive Program for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, and the National Park Service Superintendent’s Leadership Academy.  When off duty, Karen enjoys participating in Rotary Club activities, horseback riding, traveling, camping and hiking.

The Pinnacles National Park Foundation will host a reception in her honor will be held Tuesday, September 11th from 6pm-8pm at the Garden Shoppe, 364 7th St. in Hollister, CA. RSVP’s are requested and guests are invited to contribute a potluck item. For more information and to RSVP call 831-313-3344 or email [email protected].

-Kollin Kosmicki