Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today named Sam England as the chief of the Parks and Recreation section and Jerry Jenkins as the chief of the Law Enforcement section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. Jenkins was sworn in this afternoon, and England will assume his post Friday, July 25.
“Sam has been with the state parks system for more than 30 years and has overseen great improvements at both Stonewall Resort State Park and Chief Logan State Park. He understands the needs of modern travelers and has been instrumental in a number of advancements, including the creation of an online reservation system and wireless guest services,” Gov. Tomblin said. “I’m confident he will bring new enthusiasm to the job and successfully encourage more tourists to enjoy our beautiful state parks.”
“With nearly 40 years of experience as a natural resources police officer, Jerry truly understands the state’s natural resources laws and brings great expertise to this position,” Gov. Tomblin said. “He is a consummate professional, and I’m confident he will serve the Division of Natural Resources well as the new colonel.”
“Sam and Jerry are both outstanding public servants,” said Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette. “Both men have the talent, skills and are motivated to move the Division of Natural Resources to the next level. We’re lucky to have these two seasoned professionals who can hit the ground running in these important positions.”
England and Jenkins fill the positions left by the recent retirements of State Parks Chief Ken Caplinger and Col. David Murphy.
England started working for West Virginia State Parks as a recreation programs coordinator at North Bend State Park in 1984. Since then he has served as park superintendent at Moncove Lake State Park, assistant superintendent at Greenbrier State Forest and superintendent at Stonewall Resort State Park. Since Stonewall Resort became operated by private contract in 2002, his responsibilities were extended to a statewide basis, and he became one of the leaders in bringing electronic reservations, updated computer systems and wireless customer technology to state parks’ lodges. He holds a wildlife biology degree and a MBA, both from West Virginia University.
Col. Jenkins joined DNR’s Law Enforcement Section in 1976 as a conservation officer (now known as natural resources police officer). He was promoted to the ranks of sergeant in 1989, lieutenant in 2000, captain in 2004, major in 2006 and has served as lieutenant colonel since 2007. During his career, he has been chosen district Conservation Officer of the Year three times and State Conservation Officer of the Year in 1989. He also has been named a Distinguished West Virginian and was awarded a Certificate of Honor for Heroism for his efforts during the 1985 flood. Jenkins holds an associate degree in Forestry from Potomac State College and a BS degree from West Virginia University.