Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 66

GUEST COLUMN

'LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET'

Blue Ridge Parkway: Ingenuity,
Community, Adventure
J.D. Lee is the Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway and a 33-year veteran of the
National Park Service. He regularly serves on Incident Management Teams assigned to
wildland fire, natural disaster relief efforts and other incident management activities. He is fond
of spending time out on the parkway with his 180-pound Saint Bermastiff dog, Blue Ridge.
By J.D. LEE

I

was 14 years old and on a backpacking trip with my buddies, when I fell
in love with the outdoors. The lush
forests of the southern Appalachian
Mountains were unlike anything I'd
seen growing up in rural Indiana. I
was hooked.
Fast forward to my first assignment
with the National Park Service as a seasonal park ranger and wildland firefighter
at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
I felt like the luckiest guy on the planet,
and now with over 30 years with the National Park Service and having served in
some of the most magnificent places in
this country, I still feel like the luckiest
guy on the planet.
My current assignment as the Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway brings
me back to southern Appalachia, where
my love of the great outdoors was born.
Whether riding my motorcycle to work,
hiking with my dogs on the weekend,
or enjoying a local restaurant in one of
the neighboring communities, the Blue
Ridge Parkway embodies values that are
important to me both personally and
professionally.
The Blue Ridge Parkway exemplifies ingenuity. Whether it be the ability to build a
469-mile scenic motor route in the height

66

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

of the Great Depression, or the engineering marvel of features such as the Linn
Cove Viaduct, this park speaks to the creativity and ingenuity of the human spirit.
The Blue Ridge Parkway celebrates
community. Passing through two states,
29 counties and many towns, the sense of
purpose that one discovers in communities along the parkway is very much tied to
a sense of place.
The Blue Ridge Parkway promises an
adventure. For some it's a high-elevation
scenic drive, for others camping under the
stars or learning to flat-foot dance during a
summer concert, and for some it may be a
strenuous all-day hike in some of the most
biodiverse areas on the planet. This park
promises an adventure.
Ingenuity, community and adventure.
These values have been hallmarks of the
parkway's history, and I am confident
they will carry the parkway into a bright
future. As I reflect on it, these values were
often guiding my career and to some extent the approach my wife and I used in
raising our three children. These values
inspire optimism and hope; and my hope
for the parkway is one full of opportunity and shared stewardship from all who
love and enjoy these beautiful Blue Ridge
mountains.


http://www.BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020

Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 3
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 4
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 5
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 6
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 7
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 8
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 9
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 10
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 11
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 12
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 13
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 14
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 15
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 16
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 17
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 18
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 19
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 20
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 21
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 22
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 23
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 24
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 25
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 26
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 27
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 28
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 29
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 30
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 31
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 32
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 33
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 34
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 35
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 36
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 37
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 38
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 39
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 40
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 41
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 42
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 43
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 44
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 45
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 46
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 47
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 48
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 49
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 50
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 51
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 52
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 53
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 54
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 55
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 56
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 57
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 58
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 59
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 60
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 61
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 62
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 63
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 64
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 65
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - 66
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 32
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 1
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 2
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 3
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 4
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 5
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 6
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 7
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 8
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 9
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 10
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 11
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 12
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 13
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 14
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 15
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 16
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 17
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 18
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 19
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 20
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 21
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 22
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 23
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 24
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 25
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 26
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 27
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 28
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 29
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 30
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - BPG 31
Blue Ridge Country May/June 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20170102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20130910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20130708
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com