Game Comm.’s Mountz Promoted
Seventeen years after heading into field and forest to uphold the duties of a Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife conservation officer, Kevin Mountz has left the job he holds dear to his heart to start anew.
Serving Fulton County for the last nine years, Mountz recently accepted a promotion that will take him to neighboring Huntingdon County to serve in the capacity of conservation administration supervisor (CAS). Based out of the southcentral regional office in Huntingdon, the CAS position entails overseeing the automotive fleet for the region’s 12 counties as well as maintaining the communication center, which includes supervising the dispatchers and the computer-aided dispatch system.
The 57-year-old told the “News” his new job description fits perfectly with the business know-how he accrued prior to his career in wildlife conservation when he operated an automotive parts store. “No doubt it was a tough decision for me,” Mountz stated. “Besides the fact it was a chance for advancement, the job description really did fit me perfectly.”
The deciding factor, however, was that he would be able to keep his home in northern Fulton County and simply make the commute to Huntingdon.
A member of the 23rd graduating class of the Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg, Mountz spent a little over two years in Greene County as a wildlife conservation officer in his first assignment. In 1998, he relocated to Franklin County where he stayed until mid-2004. The following years in Fulton County presented Mountz with an opportunity to work with a strong deputy force in a small, downhome atmosphere.
“Fulton County was a great county to work in. The people were always very cooperative, and I will really miss working with representatives from the other state agencies. I’ve never worked in a district where there was such good interaction and a relationship between state police, forestry, fish and boat, and state parks,” he said.
Of course, Mountz quickly pointed out he owes much of his success here to the deputies who assisted him day and night. “They are truly second to none,” said Mountz of the current deputy force comprised of Andy Carbaugh, “Big Jim” Fittry, John Graham, Berley Souders and Robert Strait.
Some of his most memorable moments, though, were spent working side-by-side with local youths at the county Envirothon as well as at Youth Field Day, hunter education classes and especially school presentations where young students impressed Mountz with their knowledge of animals and habitat.
Just as important as the information he imparted to the students, though, was their ability to retain that knowledge and share it with others. In fact, he admits he would check his mail frequently in the days following a school presentation in hopes of getting notes and drawings from the students. Those notes, that he keeps in his office as a reminder of his time here, contain quirky messages, heart-felt thank-yous and references to information he shared during the presentation.
Southern Huntingdon County WCO Richard Macklem has temporarily taken over Fulton County until fellow WCO Justin Klugh returns later this spring from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Any residents needing assistance in the coming months are asked to contact the southcentral regional office by calling 814-643-1831.