The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Martins Fork Lake welcomes new Park Ranger Brent Sewell, who assumed his duties in January. Sewell is a permanent employee originally from Morristown, Tenn.
Not only does Sewell maintain the park area, but he has the job of patrolling the lake area, assisting the public and helping keep them safe.
“I like to see everything orderly and peaceful,” said Sewell. “We promote water safety for everyone who travels on the lake. We look for people traveling on the water to make sure they’re wearing their life jackets and have whistles in case of an emergency. We look out for sharp objects on the beach area and patrol the borders of the lake for fallen trees and trash. We also participate in public service activities such as Reading Buddies for elementary students in the county and other water safety programs as requested by teachers across the county.”
Sewell said Martins Fork Lake offers a variety of outdoor recreation for thousands of visitors each year. Some of those activities include fishing, hunting, picnicking, camping, sunbathing, hiking, boating and swimming.
“The Cumberland Shadow Trail is a five-mile trail along the backside of the lake,” said Sewell. “The trail is available for use year round free of charge and features excellent views of the lake. There are primitive campsites along the trail for backpackers.”
Sewell said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers administers 1,074 acres of land as part of the Martins Fork Lake Project. He said a lot of this land is open to public hunting where you’ll see white-tailed deer, turkey, squirrel and grouse. He said hunting is open under statewide regulations for all hunting and trapping.
Among Sewell’s hobbies of hiking, hunting and fishing, lately he has spent a lot of time remodeling a home he and his wife, Jessica, recently purchased.
“Spending a lot of my spare time remodeling,” said Sewell. “My wife and I have been hiking the beautiful mountains of Harlan County. We’ve found that Harlan County has such a natural beauty and the folks here are so friendly.”
When asked what he hopes to implement as the new park ranger for the Martins Fork Lake area, Sewell said, “We’re trying to expand our outreach by attending local sporting events and other activities throughout the year where there is a group of people. We want to encourage the public to take advantage of what the Martins Fork area has to offer.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org