Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan announced on Oct. 19 that he is appointing a 38-year veteran of the state park system to lead the Bureau of State Parks.

David L. Kemmerer, who has risen through the management ranks and has served as assistant bureau director for the past eight years, will oversee Pennsylvania’s system of 120 state parks and almost 300,000 acres. He has been serving as acting director since the forced resignation of John Norbeck earlier this month.

“Dave Kemmerer brings to this position the experience, enthusiasm and energy needed to run a park system as large and complex as ours,” Allan said. “Dave has a wealth of experience to draw upon in his new role overseeing the bureau, and I have complete confidence that he will improveresource management and visitor satisfaction; and that DCNR staff across the state will embrace his leadership.”

Kemmerer, 61, of Mountain Top, takes over the reins of a park system that is nationally recognized as one of the best in the nation.

“I have great loyalty to the bureau that I have served for many years and am truly excited and honored to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to strong public service and wise stewardship,” Kemmerer said. “It’s a great service we provide to people – the opportunity to recreate in the outdoors.”

Kemmerer served for many years as the manager of the bureau’s eastern region where he oversaw the operations, management and staff at 35 state parks. He obtained experience managing park facilities as the park manager at Promised Land and Beltzville state parks and assistant manager at Hickory Run State Park.

Kemmerer has a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation with a minor in accounting from Penn State University.

Pennsylvania’s state park system is nationally recognized for providing a quality visitor experience and excellence in management thanks to its dedicated staff. The 120 state parks are not only beautiful, but provide unique opportunities for outdoor recreation of all types – hunting, fishing, swimming, picnicking, kayaking, biking, hiking, wildlife watching – as well as environmental education.

They also are economic engines for local communities generating almost $1 billion in economic activity each year.

There is a state park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian.