MAMMOTH MOUNTAIN — Deanna Dulen, longtime superintendent of Devils Postpile National Monument, has announced that she is retiring from the National Park Service at the end of May.
Dulen started her career in 1979 as a seasonal firefighter with Olympic National Forest — a job that sparked her passion for the great outdoors and public service. She’s also worked as a park ranger at four national parks: Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Death Valley and Denali.
In 1991, she was appointed as the first director of the Inyo National Forest Mono Basin Visitor Center and Interpretive Program for the Mono District and the Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway.
In 2000, Dulen returned to the National Park Service and has served as superintendent for Devils Postpile National Monument for two decades.
“Deanna has been a valued park manager and colleague for over twenty years and has contributed significantly to many critical projects in the Sierra Nevada region,” said Cicely Muldoon, acting superintendent of Yosemite National Park, which oversees Devils Postpile National Monument.
“We congratulate Deanna on her retirement and wish her well on all of her future endeavors,” Muldoon added.
Over the past twenty years, Dulen has advocated for and initiated many critical projects and partnerships to improve visitor access and scientific understanding of Devils Postpile National Monument’s natural resources and biodiversity at the crossroads of the Sierra and Great Basin ecosystems. She helped launch the Sierra Nevada Inventory and Monitoring Network and multiple scientific partnerships, launched valuable interpretive exhibits describing the geologic wonder of the Postpile, Rainbow Falls, and the Minaret Vista, established the park’s newspaper and its first Junior Ranger program booklet — and helped launch the Native Kids First Bloom partnership with the Bishop Paiute Tribe.
“It has been a great privilege and honor to serve as the superintendent of Devils Postpile National Monument,” Dulen said. “I have been honored to work with an incredible team within the NPS, along with amazing partners and valued stakeholders over the past twenty years. I am very inspired by the many seasonal employees and Student Conservation Association interns who diligently work to continue the conservation legacy of our national parks. I wish the incoming generations of park leaders the same fulfillment that I’ve experienced as a civil servant.”
Dulen said she is especially proud of the recent update to the 2019 Fire Management Plan and the implementation of Devils Postpile’s first wilderness prescribed fire, which took place in November 2019. This was a significant accomplishment for Devils Postpile National Monument, which resulted in a dramatic reduction in hazard fuels and worked to restore overall forest health in collaboration with the Inyo National Forest and NPS Regional Fire Team.
Dulen also helped lead the campaign to develop a Sister Parks Agreement between Yosemite National Park and the Nepalese Parks of Sagarmarta – Chitwan and LangTang. She is currently a member of IUCN and the World Commission of Protected Areas. In retirement, she hopes to devote more time to these efforts.
Dulen and her husband Wangdowa Sherpa will also continue efforts to bring education, health care and conservation awareness to remote and impoverished areas in the Himalaya through a nonprofit that they founded.
Kevin Killian, currently the chief ranger of Yosemite National Park, will be serving as the interim site manager of Devil’s Postpile National Monument. He can be reached at email@example.com.