Bryan Wilder has been promoted to park superintendent at Elk Knob State Park in Watauga County, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation announced. Wilder succeeds Tracy Minton, who transferred to New River State Park earlier this year. Wilder has been serving as the acting superintendent for the park since Minton’s departure.
A park superintendent leads operations and administration at a park with wide-ranging responsibilities that include staffing, training, law enforcement, planning, resource management, education, and visitor services.
Wilder is a Kentucky native who graduated from Morehead State University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and geography. He worked in Virginia for several years as a conservation specialist and as a game warden, before moving to North Carolina.
In 2005, he became a park ranger at Mount Mitchell State Park. Six years later, he was promoted to park superintendent, overseeing Mount Mitchell’s 100-year anniversary celebration in 2016. Wilder transferred to Elk Knob State Park in 2017 and has been the park’s lead law enforcement ranger. He is certified as an Emergency Medical Technician and holds an advanced law enforcement certification.
“Bryan successfully oversaw our oldest state park for many years and will now be managing one of our newer ones,” said Kathy Capps, deputy director of operations. “We are excited that he is taking on this challenge, especially as we add new facilities and segments of the Northern Peaks State Trail at Elk Knob.”
Located 11 miles north of Boone, Elk Knob State Park was established as a state natural area in 2003 and reauthorized as a state park in 2007. It protects the Long Hope Valley ecosystem, the amphibolite mountains of Elk Knob and Snake Mountain, and the headwaters of the New River. A summit overlook rewards visitors with a panoramic view of North Carolina’s high country, while backcountry campsites offer the ultimate primitive overnight experience.
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.