Karen grew up in the farm country of northern CA, running across the fields to fish in the American River after school, hiking, camping, back-packing, fishing with family in the Sierras. Hunting has been a part of her family culture likely since the Pleistocene, all grandparents being immigrants from the "old country". She grew up eating fish, game and harvesting wild greens and mushrooms.
Now a retired school teacher, she has been a Nevada desert rat by choice and conservation activist there, in the "last of the wild west," for almost half a century. She lived 20 of those years in a remote, way beyond the grid, hand-built homestead in the NW NV 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, accompanying hunter, fisher or outfitter pals and family in 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 BHA and their mission of ensuring traditional hunting and fishing opportunities continue into the future for generations to come.