Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Meet Your New Neighbors


Erin Gates.

In January of this year Erin Gates moved to Tehachapi from Eureka, California, where she had been Deputy Superintendent at Redwoods National and State Parks. She had two weeks to find a home before starting her new position as Superintendent of the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, located in Keene. The grounds and museum, where Chavez made his home, became part of the National Park Service during the administration of President Barack Obama.

Erin grew up in Glendale, California. She says that her best memories growing up always came from being outdoors; being in nature always made her feel better. She went to college at Humbolt State, receiving her degree in Natural Resources Interpretation. She knew she wanted a career as a park ranger; to be a storyteller for the plants and animals that can't talk for themselves.

She began her career at Redwood State Park and then spent several years working seasonally at the coastal parks from Malibu north running junior ranger and other education programs.

Deciding that she needed to have a more lucrative career, she got her real estate license and began selling properties along the coast. However, she was miserable, so she quit in 2015 and took a job as a ranger at Hearst Castle. She knew then that being a park ranger was what she was meant to be.

Erin was transferred back to Redwoods National and State Parks in the 1990s when the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation came together and were co-managing the parks when they became one entity. She became part of the glue that held them together.

As the Superintendent of the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, Erin says her jobs include mowing, taking out the trash and running a national park. She is putting together a team of volunteers called "Chavistas" to help take care of the parks gorgeous roses.

It is not surprising to find out that Erin's hobbies are hiking and paddle-boarding. The paddle-boarding, however, has to wait until she visits her family. Her parents, brother, sister and her best friend all live in Santa Barbara.

Welcome to Tehachapi, Erin. Our town and Kern County are glad to welcome you.


If you have moved to Tehachapi within the last six months, Hilltop Welcoming Service has a bag of information about the Greater Tehachapi area, including local activities, events, government and facilities. There are always a few coupons and gifts, as well. It is a great way to learn about your new community. Being part of this column is strictly optional. If you would like a visit from the Welcome Hostess, contact our office at (661) 822-8188.