Search continues for new Roan Mountain park manager

Published 7:51 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Steps continue to be made as Tennessee’s “State Park of the Year” seeks out a new leader for the park.

Tennessee State Parks, a division of the state’s Department of Environment and Conservation, has started the process of seeking out a new park manager for Roan Mountain State Park. The position, which came open following the resignation of J.R. Tinch, is being advertised through the department’s website until Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Roan Mountain State Park, which took home Tennessee State Park of the Year in 2016, boasts a treasure trove of assets for the new manager, ranging from several cabins to manage, over 30 staff members and oversight of the Miller Farmstead, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.

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“The most important duty of this position is to

ensure that the mission of Tennessee State Parks is achieved and implemented, while managing the day-to-day operations and staff at Roan Mountain,” the posting reads.

Tinch served at the helm for over two years before accepting a position with the department as an assistant chief ranger in early November.

In the new position, the former park manager will direct training programs for emergency preparedness at each of the 56 state parks.

While a hard opportunity to pass up, the decision didn’t come without serious thought, Tinch recently told the Elizabethton Star.

“I really feel like some of the recent work has helped set me up to be in a better spot for this position,” Tinch explained about some recent projects dealing with inclement weather.. “I’ve been able to learn a lot and I hope to bring that to the position … It was a tough decision. I put down roots, bought a house, but this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. We have been able to accomplish so much in the park.”

Roan Mountain State Park is a key asset that helped the town recently earned Appalachian Trail Community Status – a vital tool for economic development for Carter County, Tinch said. The former manager added the new addition to the park while be in a great position due to the community support from residents, different civic organizations and local government leaders.

Once the advertisement is pulled, a decision on a new park manager is expected early 2018. In the meantime, park ranger Meg Guy will serve as interim manager.

Visit to apply for the position.