DELMONT After 12 years of service to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, including the last eight as executive director, Carl Roe, who earlier this year announced his retirement, last month headed his final quarterly meeting of the board of game commissioners.
"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. Now, I'll have more time to spend enjoying the outdoors."
Upon Roe's retirement, which is effective January 17, he will leave behind a lengthy list of accomplishments, some of which predate his appointment as executive director. When he joined the PGC in 2001 as the agency's first-ever long-range strategic planner he devised its strategic plan which charts a course for present and future wildlife management statewide.
Among its many objectives, the plan contains one of Roe's most well-known guiding philosophies that Pennsylvanians should understand the PGC plays an integral role in the encounters people have with wildlife. To that end, he developed the "Connect with Wildlife" slogan the commission has used for several years.
Roe later was named director of the PGC'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.
In December 2005 the board of commissioners unanimously selected Roe as executive director. At the agency's helm, he oversaw countless achievements, including the addition of more than 50,000 acres to the State Game Lands system.
Roe oversaw the expansion of bear season to four days, including a Saturday opener; implemented the Mentored Youth Hunting Program; helped establish Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas; and doubled to 200,000 the number of pheasants released annually. Perhaps, most notably, he 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.
Roe's work with the PGC represents his second career, having served with the U.S. Army from 1970 to 2000, taking part in combat tours in Vietnam and El Salvador and retiring with the rank of colonel. At his retirement, he was Director of the Americas Studies at the U.S. Army War College's Department of National Security and Strategy, where he taught strategic planning for national security.
A lifelong scholar, Roe earned a master's degree in public administration from Penn State University; a master's degree in management from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island; a master's degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas; and a bachelor's degree in political science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
A native of Wayne, Montgomery County, Roe grew up hunting and fishing in Pennsylvania, and continued these activities during his young adulthood on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He is a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Woodcock Limited and the National Rifle Association.