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Griffith is New Superintendent at South Mountains State Park

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Michael F. Easley, Governor
William G. Ross, Jr., Secretary

Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Monday, September 5, 2005

Griffith is New Superintendent at South Mountains State Park

RALEIGH -- Veteran ranger Jonathan Griffith has been promoted to superintendent of South Mountains State Park in Burke County, according to the NC Division of Parks and Recreation. Griffith succeeds Allen Rogers who has led the park as superintendent since 2001 and who chose to accept a senior ranger position at the park.

A superintendent is the chief of operations and administration at a state park or state recreation area with wide-ranging responsibilities for staffing, training, law enforcement, visitor services, natural resource protection and environmental education.

A native of Burnsville, Griffith graduated from Mountain Heritage High School and earned a bachelor's degree in natural resource management from North Carolina State University in 1995. After working as a seasonal employee at Mount Mitchell State Park during college, he joined the state parks system full time in 1995 as a Ranger I at Raven Rock State Park in Harnett County.

Griffith returned to Mount Mitchell State Park in May 1998, being promoted to a Ranger III position. He is a certified environmental educator.

"Having worked in the mountain region for some time, Jonathan has a good grasp of the natural resource issues and valuable experience from the high-visitation park at Mount Mitchell," said Lewis Ledford, director of the division, in announcing the promotion. "We're fortunate to have someone of his caliber to succeed Allen who has done so well as the park faced some special challenges in past couple of years. Their teamwork will be valuable as the park continues its growth and development. And, I expect that both will be very actively involved in the community of Burke County."

South Mountains State Park was closed for much of 2004 following flooding and landslides that closed the main entrance road. And, hurricane-related floods late last year damaged trails and a series of bridges. Reconstruction of the bridge system is under way. and construction is beginning on a new visitor center.

The park at South Mountains is the state's largest at 16,915 acres, and has been visited by more than 180,000 people annually.