SYRACUSE – Steve Roth made an impact. The longtime property manager of Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area finally called it a career last week after 36 years of being a public servant for the state of Indiana and its wildlife enthusiasts.
Roth, a native of Edwardsburg, Michigan and graduate of the University of Michigan, started working for the DNR in 1978 and built a great reputation for himself and the department along the way. In 1990 Roth took over as property manager at Tri-County and has since helped to develop the more than 3,500-acres of land into a favorite spot for hunters and fishermen.
Indiana’s loss will be Montana’s gain as Roth will head west for his retirement. Roth will settle in Kalispell where his two daughters have both planted their roots. Roth’s wife, Deb, has already been out in Montana getting their new house ready but Roth knows he will have plenty to do once his life in Kalispell begins.
“I’ll be working on the house this fall,” Roth began. “We’ll have some things to do around there before the winter comes and then in the spring I’ll be looking for a part-time job or just volunteer hopefully with the National Parks Service.”
Hearing Roth say that he will be looking for work during his retirement comes as no to surprise to anyone who knows the tireless laborer. With Glacier National Park nearby, Roth is sure to find something that will satisfy his passion for working with side-by-side with Mother Nature.
Of course, when Roth is not putting in time working on his house or just working in general, it is a good bet you will find him fishing.
“Whether it’s open water or ice fishing, I’m going to fish,” Roth said with a smile. “I’m taking my boat out there and there is a ton of lakes and a lot of opportunity to trout fish and fly fish. I might even take up a little hunting.”
The lifelong angler got the perfect gift from his Tri-County employees at his retirement party. Roth received a personalized Orvis fly rod from the ones that worked with him closest over the past 24 years. Being a strong leader has been important to Roth but so has been being a helpful public servant.
“The biggest thing I’ve like about working here is having great contact with the user of the property,” stated Roth. “I’ve always enjoyed working with the people that use this property and helping them make the most of the property, as well.”
From the property’s gun range, to its numerous youth hunting events to its 10 natural lakes, Tri-County has always had something great to be apart of, that does not change with Roth’s retirement. But because of Roth’s presence, Tri-County was made into a more enjoyable place for those who love the wildlife that make the property so special.
“I’m going to look back and be happy about my role with the reintroduction programs,” Roth remarked. “We helped reintroduce osprey, river otter, wild turkey, Canada geese here at Tri-County and I helped get Ruffed grouse reintroduced up at Pigeon River.
“Helping to bring back those species to this area will always be something I’ll feel good about.”
Those who frequent Tri-County can always feel good about the relationship they had with Roth and know that the property is more enjoyable because of his efforts. From his friendly demeanor to his passion for his work, there is no doubt that Steve Roth made an impact.