The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife has announced that Greenfield native Matt Roberts has been assigned to Highland County as a wildlife officer.
He filled the position of recently retired wildlife officer James Carnes.
Roberts has served in Clinton County since graduating from the Wildlife Officer Academy in 2005.
A graduate of McClain High School in Greenfield, Roberts, 41, received his degree in wildlife management from Hocking College in 2001. He earned a second degree in forest management from Hocking College in 2002.
“I just always enjoyed hunting and fishing and being outdoors,” said Roberts. “I’ve been in Clinton County for about 17 years now, so I’m excited to get back to where I grew up and patrol some new areas and meet some new people.”
Roberts began his career with the ODNR Division of Wildlife in 2003 at Rush Run Wildlife Area. He also spent two summers working with the fish management section in southwest Ohio as a creel clerk on Acton and Rush Run Lake.
Ohio wildlife officers have statewide authority to enforce wildlife regulations and protect state lands, waterways and property. They also contribute to public safety locally an in Ohio’s outdoors.
Each year, Ohio’s wildlife officers speak to hundreds of clubs and groups about conservation and wildlife programs, perform fish and wildlife surveys, and provide technical advice and instruction about hunting, fishing and other outdoor-related recreation.
“Mainly we deal with hunting and fishing enforcement anywhere in the county on private land and public land,” said Roberts. “I’ll have two lakes, Paint Creek and Rocky Fork Lake, where there will be people hunting and fishing, so that will take up a lot of my time, but we also deal with pollution and littering among other things.”
“Of course, on our state property we have full jurisdiction like any officer, so we would handle anything there, but on the private property we stick with hunting and fishing enforcement,” he said.
Roberts will continue to serve as the wildlife officer for Clinton County until a replacement is selected.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife exists to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation for Ohioans. More information is available at wildohio.gov.
To report suspicious activity involving wildlife, call 800-POACHER (762-2437). Reports may remain anonymous.
Roberts can be reached at 937-205-3020.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.