Schmit to retire from Game Commission after 35 years

Harrisburg
— 
With 35 years of service to the Commonwealth’s wildlife and
hunters and trappers, Pennsylvania Game Commission Deputy Executive
Director Michael W. Schmit will retire April 16, and, according to
the agency’s current director, leave enormous shoes to
fill.

“You cannot replace a
‘Mike Schmit,’” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive
director. “His knowledge and experience in the Game Commission are
unequalled. He is the most dedicated and devoted person to the Game
Commission’s mission, and I will certainly miss his wise council
and advice.”

As his service to the
agency draws to a close, Schmit noted that his service to the
agency is the culmination of a career choice made early in
life.

“Working for the Game
Commission has been a lifelong ambition,” Schmit said.  “I was 14
years old when I set my sights on a career with the Game
Commission.  It is hard to believe 35 years can go by so fast.
Strictly from a personal involvement standpoint, I’ll always look
back fondly at the years in the mid-1980s when we were bringing
about 12 eaglets back each year from the wilds of Saskatchewan.

“It was an honor to be
part of the team that traveled to the northern reaches of
Saskatchewan to remove young eagles from their natural nests and
return them to man-made nests in Pennsylvania. The hypothesis was
that these birds would acclimate to Pennsylvania as their home and
would return here years later to nest on their own.  Bald eagle
nesting has improved from three in 1983, to more than 160 bald
eagle nests today.”

Schmit began serving
the agency when he joined the 16th Class of the Ross Leffler School
of Conservation in 1975.  Upon gradation, he was commissioned a
Game Protector, now called Wildlife Conservation Officer, and was
assigned to a district in Berks County.

In 1982, Schmit was
promoted to the position of Information and Education Supervisor in
the agency’s Southeast Region, headquartered in Reading.  During
Schmit’s career, he served as Wildlife Region Director for both the
Northwest and the Southeast regions.  In 1994, he was promoted to
the Harrisburg Office to serve as Director of the Bureau of
Administrative Services, and was promoted, in 1995, to his current
position as Deputy Executive Director, a position he has held for
the past 15 years.

When asked what, if
anything, stands out as a highlight of his career Schmit points out
the bald eagle recovery program.

A native of Washington
State, Schmit graduated from Blue Mountain High School in
Schuylkill County, and attended Brown University before enrolling
in the Game Commission’s Ross Leffler School of Conservation, which
is the agency’s officer training academy.

Schmit resides in
Berks County, with his wife, Sandy.  They have three children:
Steve (Watsontown, PA), Jeff (Ridley Park, PA) and Lisa
(Halethorpe, Md.); and two granddaughters: Molly and
Brooke.

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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