Carl G. Roe, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s executive director, has announced his plans to retire in January after more than eight years heading the agency.
In making his announcement July 9, Roe said it has been his pleasure to serve Pennsylvania’s hunters and outdoor enthusiasts while working to benefit the state’s wildlife.
“Serving with the Game Commission, particularly in the role of executive director, has been a great honor and privilege,” Roe said. “I take pride and satisfaction in the years I’ve spent here, and our many, many achievements.
“I’ll never stop caring about Pennsylvania’s wildlife, but the time is right for me to step into retirement, where I’ll have more time to spend outdoors enjoying it,” he said.
Upon his retirement Jan. 17, Roe will leave behind a lengthy list of accomplishments, some of which predate his appointment as executive director.
Roe joined the Game Commission in 2001 as the agency’s first-ever long-range strategic planner. The Game Commission’s strategic plan, which charts a course for present and future wildlife management statewide, is a product of his efforts.
Among its many objectives, the plan contains one of Roe’s most well-known guiding philosophies — that Pennsylvanians should understand the Game Commission plays an integral role in the encounters people have with wildlife. To that end, Roe developed the “Connect with Wildlife” slogan the commission has used for several years.
Roe later was named director of the commission’s Bureau of Administrative Services, where he spearheaded a transition to electronic hunting-license sales. Today, the Pennsylvania Automated License System helps nearly 1 million hunters annually to purchase licenses.
The Board of Game Commissioners in December 2005 unanimously selected Roe as executive director.
At the agency’s helm, Roe chalked countless achievements. More than 50,000 acres were added to the state game lands system during his tenure. He oversaw the expansion of bear season to four days, including a Saturday opener. He implemented the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. He helped establish wild pheasant recovery areas and doubled to 200,000 the number of pheasants released annually. He helped to enact a permit-only fisher trapping season in select areas of the state.
For deer hunters, shifted the focus of the deer management program to take into account things like the herd’s health and habitat — a change that was lauded by independent outside audits. Program objectives focused on deer density on the landscape to objectives defined by specific measures of deer health, forest habitat health and deer-human conflicts. Roe also eliminated a requirement to display a hunting license, and supervised a statewide survey of Pennsylvania residents about deer.