News Release

New Superintendent Selected for Lava Beds & Tule Lake National Monuments

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Date: August 7, 2015

The National Park Service (NPS) has selected Larry Whalon to be the next superintendent of Lava Beds National Monument and the Tule Lake Unit of World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in northeastern California.


Whalon, who is currently serving as the parks’ acting superintendent, will assume his permanent role Oct. 11. He replaces Mike Reynolds who left to lead Death Valley National Park.


“Larry excels at building and maintaining relationships with diverse sets of partners, a skill that will be useful in managing Lava Beds National Monument and continuing to build the Tule Lake Unit,” said Patricia Neubacher, NPS Pacific West Region acting regional director. “His many years of experience managing complex issues and projects at Mojave National Preserve makes him the right fit for this assignment.”


Whalon has been the deputy superintendent at Mojave National Preserve since 2007; prior to that he served as the park’s chief of resource management. His career spans more than 25 years and it includes work with the National Park Service at Mojave National Preserve, Pinnacles National Park and the Western Arctic National Parklands; the Bureau of Land Management in Alaska and Oregon; and the Wyoming Fish and Game.


"Lava Beds is a special place for me with its rugged landscape and stunning night’s skies," said Whalon. “I look forward to the challenges of developing and managing the Tule Lake Unit and its important historic messages. I am honored to have this opportunity.”

Whalon worked on several controversial land management issues including mining operations, abandoned mine lands and utility scale solar energy development in the Mojave Desert. He has experience working with local and regional governments and elected officials on many issues leading to the protection of park resources. He has a background in biology and plant ecology.

Whalon is a native of McMinnville, Oregon. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in biology at Linfield College. He will be moving to the Tulelake area with his wife who is also a National Park Service employee.




Lava Beds National Monument, established in 1925, is a land of turmoil, both geologic and historic. Over the last half-million years, volcanic eruptions have created a rugged landscape dotted with diverse volcanic features. Lava tube caves, Native American sites, historic battlefields and a high desert wilderness experience await you!

The Tule Lake Unit of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, established in 2008, is a nationally significant site dedicated to telling the story of the cost of war on the home front and the lasting effects of the unjust incarceration of over 29,000 US citizens and long-term residents of Japanese ancestry at the Tule Lake Segregation Center.

– NPS –

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 408 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: January 31, 2018

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P.O. Box 1240
Tulelake , CA 96134



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