The National Park Service (NPS) has selected Jane Rodgers as the new permanent Superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park beginning Aug. 13th 2023.
Rodgers has been the Acting Superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park since January 2023 and, before that, served as the park’s Chief of Science and Resource Stewardship for the last seven years, where she focused on climate change response, visitor use management, and stewardship collaborations around the park boundary.
“Jane is a seasoned manager with clear, strategic vision,” said acting Regional Director William Shott. “She is a strong communicator with a passion for the resource and employees at Joshua Tree. She will do an excellent job responding to the myriad of challenges facing the park today and into the future, and working with partners, Tribes and communities.”
In her role, Rodgers will lead a park staff of 140 employees who serve 3.1 million visitors annually.
“Since 1936, after Minerva Hoyt so boldly argued to conserve these desert lands, many superintendents have worked tirelessly to protect and preserve the vibrant history and landscape of Joshua Tree National Park,” Rodgers said.
She added that becoming the park’s first woman “at the helm” is a great honor.
“I am so grateful for the incredible talent and dedication of our amazing employees and partners,” Rodgers said. “The park leadership team and I look forward to continuing meaningful engagement with the fifteen tribal communities associated with the traditional homelands of the Serrano, Chemehuevi, and Cahuilla, and the traditional use area of the Mohave. The important work continues, and the park is so very fortunate to have the people and partners we need to truly steward this beloved space.”
Rodgers graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry. In 1990, Rodgers joined the U.S. Peace Corps in the Republic of Niger, West Africa.
Her interest in restoration ecology and landscape scale conservation led to her first stint at Joshua Tree National Park from 1994-2003. She moved on to Point Reyes National Seashore from 2003-2008 and then to Grand Canyon National Park from 2008-2016. She returned to Joshua Tree in 2016, where she has been ever since.
Rodgers lives within walking distance of her office in Twentynine Palms with her wife, Kate Peterlein, and two pups, Birdie and Grit. They enjoy camping, golfing, growing native plants, birding, and engaging in the rich cultural opportunities of the desert region.
Joshua Tree National Park spans nearly 800,000 acres, most of which is wilderness, in southern California. Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A wide variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonders visitors can experience at the park. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/jotr.
Photo of Jane Rodgers new Park Superintendent at Joshua Tree National Park CA.
Photo from National Park Service