Dawn Napier is the contact representative in BLM's Arcata Field Office, responding to a myriad of requests from the public for information regarding public lands within the Arcata Field Office area -- but call her "Dusty."
"My family is big on nicknames," she says. Mom was "Smokey" and Dad was "Blackie," so I was "Dusty" before I was born and given my birth name.
Dawn started with BLM in January 2006, upon moving back to the area after being gone for many years. She had worked for the Department of the Interior before and came across the opportunity to work for BLM. "I'm not one to pass on any opportunity or experience," she says.
Originally from Eureka, from a Navy family, she decided to follow in the family footsteps (her father, brother and husband retired from the Navy) and joined the Navy in January 1974. She spent 20 years in the Navy working in the telecommunications field, retiring in April 1994 as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. She managed to see much of the world -- having been stationed in San Diego and Monterey, California, Guam, Hawaii, Japan, and Diego Garcia. While overseas, she visited Hong Kong, Korea, Australia, Singapore, Bahrain, Philippines and Thailand. While in Guam during the Vietnam evacuation, she participated in Operation New Life, processing hundreds of Vietnamese refugees who were arriving in Guam daily. She says it was a life-altering experience she will never forget.
She worked for just shy of three years as a realty specialist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Riverside, California prior to moving back to northwest California. She now lives in Hoopa and is a member of the Karuk tribe.
She says that now that she is getting settled, she hopes to complete her education in human services with a Native American emphasis.
She and her husband, Jack love to travel, which gives her ample subject matter for the poetry she writes. She is also inspired by the beauty of Humboldt County and is glad to be home with family. She has a brother, uncle and lots of cousins in the area. Between her and her husband, they have five children -- their sons, Jared in Temecula and Joel in Missouri, and daughters Angie, Joy and Chryssie in Indiana -- and six grandchildren.