By Max Hrenda
For more than five months, Jacob Young has run the day-to-day operations at Roan Mountain State Park.
He communicated regularly with the state’s park service office; he patrolled the park, as often as he could; he coordinated maintenance efforts through exceptionally rainy months; and he began implementing “interpretive” programs throughout the park.
But while he filled those roles and more on an almost-daily basis since Feb. 1, it wasn’t until July 21 that he was officially given the title that reflected his work: park manager.
“It was a relief,” Young said. “It was hard being the interim manager for six months. It’s not an easy job.”
Having spent his entire eight-year career as a ranger at Roan Mountain, Young’s experience may have given him an edge over some of the other applicants. At the beginning of that career, however, he had difficulty imagining that he would even want the position.