Overseeing Roan Mountain State Park chance of a lifetime for Ranger Tinch
Published 11:31 am Saturday, July 4, 2015
Roan Mountain State Park has a new park manager, but the face is a familiar one to staff and visitors.
Ranger J.R. Tinch began working at Roan Mountain State Park two years ago. He began his career with the Tennessee State Park service eight years ago as a Seasonal Interpretive Ranger at Cumberland Mountain State Park near his hometown of Crossville. After two years he was hired full time by the park service and began working at Tims Ford State Park in Middle Tennessee.
It was while working at Tims Ford that Tinch first encountered the beauty of Roan Mountain.
“I came here and helped with the Junior Ranger Camp one year when I worked at Tims Ford,” Tinch said. “I fell in love with it here and I knew if a position opened up, I wanted to be here.”
So Tinch waited patiently and then finally, one day, what he was waiting for happened — a ranger position opened up at Roan Mountain State Park.
Now, Tinch said he has been blessed again when the position of Park Manager came open in Roan Mountain, which allowed him to advance his career without having to leave the park he loves so much.
“It was an opportunity to get to take on and lead not only a park, but my favorite park to a more secure and sustainable future,” he said.
One of Tinch’s main goals as park manager is to not only protect, preserve and improve the resources already available at the park, but to try to add new programs highlighting the regions history and culture. His experience working at the park will come in handy as he takes over the reins of leadership.
“Working here gave me a good foundation of learning the operation and management style of the park and knowing what direction to go to move the park forward,” he said.
Tinch grew to love the outdoors as a child when his family would camp in the Smoky Mountains.
“I fell in love with the mountains at an early age,” he said.
Being in Roan Mountain allows Tinch to take part in many of his favorite outdoor activities whether it be hiking the trails, or traveling to the nearby ski slopes for some snowboarding.
The ranger also enjoys the history and culture that his state park has to offer to visitors.
“I’m particularly fond of the Miller Farmstead,” Tinch said. “I think that is a great example of our southern Appalachian culture.”
One of the things Tinch really enjoys about the park is the ability to relax and enjoy yourself while there.
“I like stepping away from the chaos of today’s society and taking a slower place where you can enjoy yourself,” he said, adding the park provides the perfect opportunity to do just that. “It’s one of the few places you can go and feel you’ve stepped back in time away from the hustle and bustle of modern day society.”
“I am right where I want to be,” he added. “I am surrounded by everything that I love to do.”