Matt Haynes is the new park superintendent at Bob's Creek State Natural Area in McDowell County, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. He is the first superintendent of the natural area, which was authorized in 2017.
Haynes served as a park ranger at Hanging Rock State Park for nine years before a promotion to advanced ranger at Chimney Rock, where he also served for nine years. During his time as a ranger, he periodically acted as superintendent and was the lead natural resources ranger.
Originally from Raleigh, N.C., Haynes has bachelor’s degrees in zoology and chemistry from N.C. State University. Prior to starting work with the Division of Parks and Recreation, he was the chief research technician in molecular biology and field work for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (now Department of Environmental Quality) shellfish sanitation section.
Haynes holds several certifications for park and natural resources management and education, including intermediate and advanced law enforcement certificates, CPR instruction, pesticide operation, environmental education, and several prescribed fire certifications. He is an instructor for the division in both general law enforcement and subject control and arrest techniques.
“Matt’s wealth of knowledge of the natural communities of our foothills region and people living in and visiting in the area will be optimal for serving as superintendent of Bob’s Creek,” said Deputy Director of Operations Kathy Capps. “His long-term focus on natural resources paired with his leadership experience and familiarity with our state parks system will be a great fit for this beloved natural area.”
As superintendent of the new natural area, Haynes’ priorities are to effectively manage the natural resources, provide low-impact recreational opportunities, work with local partners and help partners develop the Wilderness Gateway State Trail.
Bob’s Creek State Natural Area comprises nearly 6,000 acres of sprawling foothills in McDowell County. The property is not yet open to the public. It will be managed by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation for low-impact recreation, water quality protection of numerous streams in the Broad and Catawba river basins and preservation of rare plants and diverse natural ecosystems documented by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program.
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 19.8 million visitors annually.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, three science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 41 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, and the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please visit www.ncdcr.gov.