20th Annual NASC
NV Backcountry Hunters and Anglers / Friends of NV Wilderness
Karen grew up in the farm country of northern California, running across the fields to fish in the American River after school, hiking, camping, backpacking, and fishing with family in the Sierras. Hunting & fishing has been an essential part of her family culture. All 4 grandparents, being immigrants from the "old country”, instilled a deep appreciation for our public lands & the recreation opportunities they provide all citizens. She grew up eating fish and game and harvesting wild greens, berries and mushrooms.
Now a retired schoolteacher, she has been a Nevada desert rat by choice and a conservation activist there, in the "last of the wild west," for almost half a century. Over those years, she has been a founding member & is a current board member of both Friends of NV Wilderness (FNW) and the NV Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (NV BHA). She currently represents NV BHA on the Nevada Wildlife Coalition. She was the “founding mother” of the Coalition for Healthy Nevada Lands, Wildlife & free-Roaming Horses & Burros (CHNL) and continues as part of their working group. She has served in the past on the NW NV BLM Resource Advisory Board as the recreation representative.
She lived 20 of those years in a remote, way-beyond-the-grid, hand-built homestead in the northwest Nevada mountains with her husband, partner activist and muzzle-loader enthusiast Dan Heinz, now deceased. She now resides in a cabin on an historic ranch in Washoe Valley and continues their work on wildlife, Wilderness and ORV issues. Hiking, burro-packing, canoeing, and accompanying hunter, angler, or outfitter pals into wild places remains the solace for her soul.
Karen feels fortunate to have grown up at a time when much of the west was still wild and the dominant recreational uses were traditional. Within a generation, she has witnessed those opportunities vastly diminish. This is the primary reason she so passionately believes in both BHA for their mission of ensuring traditional hunting and fishing opportunities will continue into the future for generations to come and FNW for their mission to ensure there are big permanently protected wild places where wildlife can thrive.