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Tom Jackson Promoted to West District Superintendent for State Parks

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

Release Note: 
Charlie Peek
Release Date: 
Thursday, September 22, 2005

Tom Jackson Promoted to West District Superintendent for State Parks

RALEIGH -- Tom Jackson, formerly chief park ranger, has been promoted to west district superintendent for the state parks system, according to the NC Division of Parks and Recreation. He succeeds Walt Gravley who retires October 1 after a 29-year career with state parks.

As one of four district superintendents, Jackson will be responsible for resource management, environmental education programming, law enforcement, safety and facility maintenance for eight state parks in western North Carolina as well as a number of state natural areas including Elk Knob and Mount Jefferson.

"We are fortunate to have someone like Tom ready to step into this important position with his broad experience as a park superintendent and chief ranger," said Lewis Ledford, director of the division. "His knowledge will be valuable as our west district grows with a new park planned at Hickory Nut Gorge and new public facilities coming on line at Gorges State Park and Elk Knob State Natural Area."

Jackson is a native of McDowell County and a 1984 graduate of Appalachian State University with a bachelor's degree in parks and recreation management. While in college, he worked as a seasonal employee at New River State Park and, for the National Park Service, on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Jackson joined the division in 1985 as a ranger at Hanging Rock State Park. After a five-year tenure as a park ranger for Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation, he rejoined the staff at Hanging Rock in 1991 and was promoted to a senior ranger position in 1994 at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. In 1995, He was promoted to superintendent at Falls Lake State Recreation area, and in 2000, became chief park ranger responsible for the division's public safety programs.

Jackson holds an advanced law enforcement certificate and is a certified environmental educator.

Jackson said, "The biggest attraction for me is the challenge of protecting the tremendous natural resources we have in western North Carolina. There are a lot of exciting opportunities for our parks system ahead and I look forward to working with the great staff we have in the west."

Jackson will be based in the division's western district office at Lake Norman State Park in Iredell County.