Amanda Lasley, a veteran park ranger, has been named superintendent of South Mountains State Park in Burke County, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. Lasley takes the helm after longtime superintendent Jonathan Griffith retired earlier this year.
A park superintendent leads operations and administration at a park with wide-ranging responsibilities that include staffing, training, law enforcement, planning, natural resources management, environmental education and visitor services.
Lasley, a Kentucky native, has a bachelor’s degree in recreation and park administration from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s degree in park and resource management from Slippery Rock University. She has been a ranger at South Mountains since 2012, after serving as a ranger at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. Prior to joining the division, Lasley worked as a whitewater rafting guide and as an interpretive ranger for the National Park Service at Glacier National Park in Montana. She was also a public librarian in Kentucky for many years before moving to North Carolina.
Aside from working at South Mountains, Lasley holds various certifications and positions within the division. She is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional through the National Recreation and Park Association, a nonprofit that focuses on the advancement of parks and recreation employees. She currently serves as the chair of the DPR search and rescue committee and teaches search and rescue classes to her state parks colleagues. She is also an American Canoe Association certified canoe and kayak instructor.
“As a ranger, Amanda has been a great asset for us with her diverse skill set and willingness to volunteer for various division-wide initiatives,” said West District Superintendent Sean McElhone. “We look forward to her leadership in overseeing our largest state park, especially as South Mountains eventually becomes a cornerstone for the Wilderness Gateway and Overmountain Victory state trails.”
South Mountains State Park covers more than 20,000 acres at the crossroads of the Appalachian Mountains and the Foothills. It provides hallmark backcountry experience with nearly 50 miles of hiking trail, portions of which are open to horseback riding and mountain biking, as well as backpack, equestrian and RV camping. The 80-foot High Shoals Falls provides a picturesque water landscape, but the designated trout waters of Jacob Fork River and Clear Creek Lake, located in a day-use access in Morganton, offer the outlets to water recreation.
About North Carolina State Parks
North Carolina State Parks manages more than 250,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina’s state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes more than 19 million visitors annually.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.
The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the N.C. Zoo, the N.C Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit www.ncdcr.gov.