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Deanna Dulen, Superintendent of Devils Postpile National Monument and former Director of the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area Visitor Center, retired in May 2020 after a four-decade career working for federal land management agencies.
Deanna was the first director of the Mono Basin Visitor Center in 1991, and her nine years of dedicated work at Mono Lake shaped a world-class visitor center and interpretive resource for the recently established Scenic Area. Deanna rigorously sought funding solutions and opportunities to maintain a facility and staff that introduced Mono Lake to millions of people. The diversity and quality of interpretive programs rose under Deanna’s leadership, setting a high standard for the Scenic Area. These programs helped establish an interpretive legacy that the Mono Lake Committee, California State Parks, Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, and the Mono Lake Volunteer program endeavor to maintain.
Deanna’s career with the US Forest Service and National Park Service was a labor of love, and she applied an ethic that helped these agencies achieve their best for the public despite declining budgets. The Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area and Devils Postpile National Monument are better places today because of Deanna’s devotion to public service and land management. While the days of better funding for the Scenic Area may have long passed, the strong, principled standards of how and why these places are protected for public good is one of Deanna’s enduring and influential trademarks.
Deanna remains in the Eastern Sierra with her husband Wangdowa Sherpa and her beloved dogs, where they tend to one of the most bountiful backyard gardens in the Mono Basin.
Top photo courtesy of the National Park Service. This post was also published as an article in the Fall 2020 Mono Lake Newsletter (page 13).