Karn grew up in Colorado skiing and camping, graduated from CU, Boulder with a degree in Environmental Conservation. She left Colorado in 1976 thinking it had been ruined by John Denver’s songs creating awareness of Colorado’s glories, and too many people moving here. She worked in Mt. Hood National Forest, OR as a firefighter, Naturalist, and Wilderness Ranger, then in California teaching environmental education with Yosemite Institute. She taught science and outdoor education at two Bay Area schools, and worked summers as a ranger/naturalist for Crater Lake, Everglades and Grand Teton National Parks.
Finally, she returned to Colorado in 1995 after meeting her husband, Frank, living here in Silverthorne. She served as Chair of the Blue River Group, Sierra Club and Exec Director of Friends of the Lower Blue River, when it first started. She served as Summit County Commissioner for 12 years ending in January 2021. Throughout that time, she worked on Wilderness legislation, wildfire mitigation projects, climate change action, recycling, early childhood education, affordable housing, mental health services and good master planning for Summit County.
There are millions more people in Colorado today, but it is still a glorious place. Summit County has grown faster than most places in Colorado, and we need to continue efforts to protect the values of the Lower Blue that we all love.