Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer recently announced that Gary Obermiller, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft, will become deputy director over Ohio State Parks and Watercraft. He will also serve as chief of Ohio State Parks. Glen Cobb, ODNR deputy director and chief of Ohio State Parks, is retiring at the end of June.
“Glen Cobb has been a tremendous advocate for Ohio State Parks and our state’s natural areas and preserves during his 30 years with the department,” said Zehringer. “He has spent his career providing more and better outdoor opportunities for Ohioans, and while we’ll miss his contributions, we were truly blessed to benefit from his work for such a long time.”
FRONT (left to right): LIA President Tim Lovett, retiring Chief of Ohio State Parks Glenn Cobb; BACK: LIA Vice President Mark Piening, LRC Manager Milt Miller, incoming Chief of Ohio State Parks Gary Obermiller. The group recently toured the Prairie Creek Treatment Train on Grand Lake St. Marys.
Obermiller has worked for the department for nearly 28 years, serving in Natural Areas and Preserves and Ohio State Parks for 25 years. In addition to serving as chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft, he also served as chief of the ODNR Office of Law Enforcement.
“Gary Obermiller has a passion for the outdoors and is eager to continue work on the capital improvement projects currently being unveiled across Ohio,” said Zehringer. “I believe his experience and leadership qualities have prepared him for this position as ODNR strives to continue to provide our visitors with the best state parks in the nation.”
Mike Miller, assistant chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft, will serve as acting chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft.
Ohio has 74 state parks and is one of only seven states in the nation where admission is free. Many Ohio families and out-of-state residents turn to Ohio State Parks for hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, camping, biking, disc golf, horseback riding and much more. Last year, 2.3 million people spent at least one night in an Ohio State Park campground, cottage, cabin or lodge.