Nevada Division of State Parks gets new leader
Bradley Crowell, director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, has announced the appointment of Robert “Bob” Mergell to serve as the new administrator for the Nevada Division of State Parks. As NDSP’s administrator, Mergell will lead the division in its mission to develop and maintain Nevada’s 26 state parks for visitors to enjoy while supporting the stewardship of areas of scenic, historic and scientific importance.
Mergell became the deputy administrator in 2015 and has served as acting administrator since October when the previous administrator, Eric Johnson, retired after 34 years with NDSP.
Mergell has more than 23 years of experience in parks management and operations, beginning his tenure as a seasonal park aid at the former Floyd Lamb State Park. He also has served as a park ranger at South Fork State Recreation Area and Lahontan State Recreation Area, a park supervisor at Wild Horse State Recreation Area and as the State Parks Northern Regional Manager. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, Mergell enjoys camping and has ridden his motorcycle through every county in the state.
Gov. Brian Sandoval expressed his support for the appointment, stating, “I am very pleased that Bob has agreed to become the next administrator of the Division of State Parks. He was there at the beginning of our ‘Explore Your Nevada’ parks initiative and provided great leadership as the new Walker River State Recreation Area became a reality. State Parks is in good hands with Bob.”
Crowell reiterated the governor’s support.
“We are fortunate to have Bob take the helm of the Nevada Division of State Parks. Strong communities and healthy economies are anchored by thriving parks systems, and Bob’s proven leadership and extensive background in parks management will continue making Nevada’s State Parks system the best in the nation.”
Under Mergell’s direction, NDSP will focus on increasing capacity to meet the ever-growing needs of our record-breaking number of State Parks visitors, which continues to climb year after year. In 2018, Nevada State Parks had more than 3.6 million visitors. In addition to expanding and upgrading numerous facilities, amenities and accommodations throughout Nevada, some of NDSP’s notable projects in 2019 will include the grand opening of the new Ice Age Fossils State Park in North Las Vegas, installing WiFi at virtually every state park, and establishing a leading-edge online reservation system.