From Springfield News-Sun’s Steve Bennish:

By his own account, Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Director Sean Logan has had a “wild ride” in his tenure overseeing the vast reaches of state lakes, forests, streams, creeks and even mines.

The 2007 Gov. Ted Strickland appointee and former state legislator from Columbiana County leaves office with the change in administration next year. No successor has been named.

ODNR, with only 86 percent of the employees it had in 2006 and coping with $570 million in unmet and still unfunded maintenance and needed upgrades at parks and other public lands, has been buffeted by a series of challenges.

“It has been a wild ride and I am very proud of the past four years and our employees and our constituents,” he said.

Tough moments have included the collapse of tourism this year at Grand Lake St. Marys from a summer cyanobacteria outbreak, the threat of an Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes, and another threat, this one by the federal government, to take over the state’s inadequately funded coal mine regulation.

Despite the rising tide, Logan remains a staunch advocate for keeping parks and public land open and access free even as budget battles over how to juggle dollars seem more unsolvable than ever. A majority of states already charge for park use.