New Manager Named at Cook Forest State Park Complex

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has named Ryan Borcz manager of the Cook Forest State Park Complex in Clarion and Jefferson counties.

“Ryan’s strong background in environmental interpretation and knowledge of the Civilian Conservation Corps make him a natural selection to head the Cook Forest State Park Complex,” Acting DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti said. “Having worked there eight months as interim manager, he brings to Cook Forest the blend of administrative skills and field experience we value in park managers.”

Borcz will oversee Cook Forest’s 7,182 acres in northeast Clarion County, where the park’s towering old-growth white pine and hemlock are designated a National Natural Landmark. The Clarion River − popular with fishing, canoeing and rafting enthusiasts − forms the eastern border of the park, where past Civilian Conservation Corps work is reflected in both park buildings and its pine plantations. Clear Creek, the other state park in the complex Borcz will manage, occupies 1,444 acres in neighboring Jefferson County on the Clarion River. Popular with canoeists and kayakers, Clear Creek offers a visitor center and self-guided trail focusing on the rich logging history of the Black Forest area.

“To manage Cook Forest and Clear Creek state parks is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Borcz said. “Over the years my family and I have been drawn to the Cook Forest area for its variety of outdoor recreation and scenic beauty. I’m truly excited about this new assignment and the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Borcz began his career with DCNR in 2002, working first as a ranger with the Clear Creek State Forest District, based in Clarion, Clarion County. He’s also worked as an environmental education specialist in Moraine State Park, Butler County; as a park manager trainee, Bureau of State Parks’ central office, Harrisburg; as a park manager, Chapman State Park, Warren County; as an assistant park manager, Pymatuning State Park, Crawford County; and as interim park manager, Cook Forest State Park Complex.

Borcz, 32, is married and is a native of Prospect, Butler County. He is a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a bachelor’s degree in park and resource management. He succeeds Marsha Gordon, who recently retired.

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