News Release

Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomes new park ranger to oversee Lands Office

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Joshua Johnson, the park's new Lands Specialist

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News Release Date: December 28, 2022

Contact: Emily Davis, 865-436-1207

GATLINBURG, Tenn.—Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials recently selected staff park ranger Joshua Johnson to serve as the park’s Lands Specialist to provide dedicated oversight of lands entrusted to the National Park Service. Parklands encompass 522,426 acres, including the 68-mile Foothills Parkway corridor between Chilhowee Lake and Cosby. In total, the park shares 443 miles of boundary with more than 2,000 neighbors across Tennessee and North Carolina. 

“Ensuring the protection of lands set aside for the public is a huge responsibility and I’m pleased to welcome Josh to oversee the program,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “The Lands Office is one of the most important and complex operations here at the park and Josh is uniquely qualified to lead it.” 

The Lands Office is responsible for the administration of the park’s land protection program which includes assessing land acquisition and protection matters; issuing rights-of-way and lands special use permits; maintaining park boundary markers; and working with park neighbors to address possible boundary encroachment concerns. Johnson has a background as a licensed real estate agent and as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist. 

“I’m excited to continue working with our park neighbors and partners to help protect Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the American people," said Johnson.

A native Tennessean, Johnson received his BA from Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN and has additional degrees and certificates from Pennsylvania State University, the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, and Roane State Community College. He started his career at Great Smoky Mountains National Park as a contractor in 2021 before being hired permanently in November. 


Last updated: December 29, 2022

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