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New Natural Resources Officers on the Job

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Eighteen new Natural Resources officers, recently commissioned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), will begin on-the-job training in their newly assigned Ohio State Parks.

“Natural Resources officers play an important role in ensuring that our visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience at our parks,” ODNR Director Mary Mertz said. “It will be exciting to see our new officers engaging with customers, patrolling and protecting Ohio’s parks, waterways, forests, and natural areas.”

Natural Resources officers are responsible for enforcing laws, education, and emergency response in various state parks, forests, waterways, and other natural areas. The new officers will continue their training by working closely with experienced officers in their assignment areas for the next several months.

ODNR’s new Natural Resources officers, assignments, and hometowns:

Deer Creek State Park         

  • Sydnee Brown (Logan)
  • Jennifer McClain-Eskey (Athens)

Dillon State Park

  • Corneilus Harris II (Zanesville)
  • Bethany Huey (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Jacob Mills (Hopewell)

East Fork State Park

  • Crystal Smalley (Peebles)
  • Austin Snyder (Batavia)

East Harbor State Park

  • Lucas Riley (London)
  • Sierra Schloemer (Willard)
  • Holly Walp (Middleburg, FL)
  • Brandon Wonderly (Sycamore)

Lake Milton State Park

  • Deidre May (Diamond)

Maumee State Forest

  • Kelly Milewski (Monclova)

Mary Jane Thurston State Park

  • Haylie Sheets (Ney)

Mohican State Park

  • Jered Moran (Dalton)
  • Michael Nodo (Massillon)

Punderson State Park

  • Payton Phenicie (New Washington)

Pymatuning State Park

  • Nicholas Poghen (Cleveland)

The new cadet officers began training on August 16, 2021. After the first week of training, those cadets that needed Peace Officer certifications reported to the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy to complete police officer basic training. Those cadets that already held the certification completed an additional five weeks of Natural Resources Officer training.

To learn more about Natural Resources Officers and the training involved click here.

The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft provides exceptional outdoor recreation and boating opportunities by balancing outstanding customer service, education, and conservation of Ohio’s 75 state parks and waterways.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

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