RALEIGH — The N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation recently announced the promotion of Thomas Delane “Lane” Garner to superintendent of Lumber River State Park in Robeson County. Garner is a native of Dublin.
“Lumber River State Park covers four counties,” the new superintendent explained, “so I’m looking forward to meeting the folks that enjoy the park and helping educate them about natural processes and the importance of preserving our natural resources.”
Garner graduated in 2000 from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a degree in recreation management. After joining the parks system in 2003 as a ranger at Jones Lake State Park, he transferred to Singletary Lake State Park, in 2010, then returned to Jones Lake State Park in 2013 as an advanced park ranger.
“I’ll miss working in Bladen County,” commented Garner. “I worked with great folks in my 15 years at Jones Lake and Singletary Lake, and I hope to carry over what I learned from them to the good people here at Lumber River.”
During his tenure with the parks system, he attained advanced law enforcement certification and has served as burn boss. He is a member of the division’s honor guard and recently joined its critical incident stress management peer team.
“Lane has extensive experience — not only in park operations, but natural resource management, which is a core component of our mission,” said Mike Murphy, state parks director. “He will be a valuable leader at Lumber River State Park, which is an important part of the area’s growing local tourism community.”
As superintendent, Garner will be responsible for the operations and administration at the site, including staffing, training, law enforcement, visitor services, natural resource protection, and environmental education.
Lumber River State Park was established in 1989, and now encompasses 12,039 acres and recorded 72,731 visitors in 2017. Spanning Scotland, Hoke, Robeson, and Columbus Counties, the park surrounds the Lumber River, one of the longest unobstructed rivers in North Carolina and one of the state’s few blackwater rivers.
Headquartered in Princess Ann in Robeson County, the park includes 24 boat launches across the 115 miles of the Lumber River, where boaters can kayak or canoe down the only section of waterway designated as wild and scenic in the state. Upwards to 20 float trips range from one hour to half a day.
Fishing from small boats or from the riverbank allow anglers to challenge the river’s abundant black crappie, red breast sunfish, largemouth bass, and catfish.
“It’s a beautiful place,” Garner remarked. “If you’ve never been, you need to come out and pay us a visit.”
To register for a program, visit the park, or to learn more about it, interested persons can visit the park on the web at ncparks.gov/lumber-river-state-park or call 910-628-4564.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.